King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has published a report on class actions in Australia.  

For two financial years in a row there has been on average more than one class action filed per week in Australia.

54 new class actions were filed in 2018/19 which is coincidentally, exactly the same number that were filed in the prior year. 

2017/18 was the year that class actions increased to its current level, which is 43% higher in number than the average of the three prior  years. 

New class action filings in 2012/13 and 2013/14 were around 1.5 per month. That compares to the current rate of more than one per week. 

A rising category of class actions is employment claims but in 2018/19 securities and consumer claims were the most prevalent.

How much does this heightened activity depend on litigation funding? It seems that class actions and litigation funding go hand-in-hand. In 2018/19 72% of new class actions involved litigation funding, according to publicly available records, notes KWM in the report. 

Maurice Blackburn was the number one plaintiff firm in terms of class actions in 2018/19 with 10 new actions, followed by Slater & Gordon with seven. Quinn Emanuel, Shine Lawyers and William Roberts had exactly four each. 

Access the KWM report The Review – Class Actions in Australia 2018/2019 here.