HomeNews$3.5 million battle with ATO continues over Black Saturday class action

$3.5 million battle with ATO continues over Black Saturday class action

Radio talkback lawyer David Whiting today told Jon Faine’s Morning program on ABC Radio Melbourne that Maurice Blackburn is sitting on $3.5 million in interest earned from the Black Saturday class action settlement.

An ongoing taxation dispute with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Commissioner, Chris Jordon AO and Maurice Blackburn continues in the Supreme Court.

“[Maurice Blackburn] ran a very large class action,” Whiting said.

“They have,” Faine replied.

“They’re [Maurice Blackburn] is currently sitting on $3.5 million … that’s interest earned while they processed the claims.

“There’s an argument that some -or all- of it is liable to tax … there’s an ongoing discussion with the [ATO] Commissioner,”  Whiting said.

Kinglake Ranges News spoke to Maurice Blackburn’s Corporate Relations manager for class actions Cameron Scott about the progress of the taxation dispute between Maurice Blackburn and the ATO.

“Our obligation is to do everything in our power to maximise returns for bushfire survivors, which included running the case without litigation funding and negotiating the largest ever class action settlement outcome in Australian legal history – and it now includes pursuing the taxation issue to a legal conclusion.

If we are successful, we anticipate being able to make a further distribution to our group members,” Scott said.

Supreme Court Justice J. Forrest, who presided over the class action settlement indicated he was happy with conduct of all parties.

“Thank you and the practitioners, both at Maurice Blackburn who have assisted you with the scheme, as well as your opponents. It was a fascinating exercise.

“There are 2000 pages of a judgment which are consigned to the judicial dustbin which won’t ever trouble anyone, and I congratulate you in particular in relation to the management of the settlement, particularly over the last 18 months.

“It has been an awesome exercise and I think a lot of people have a lot to thank you for,” Justice Forrest said.

Class action participants should advise Maurice Blackburn of any changes to contact details so Maurice Blackburn can update you about the resolution of the taxation dispute  if there’s a second settlement distribution.

Please contact the Bushfire Class Action Information line on 1800 99 55 70 for further questions about the Black Saturday class action.



Download the latest Supreme Court Affidavit (PDF) of Maurice Blackburn lawyer, Andrew Watson by clicking here. (Right click and select save as to download to your computer/device)



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