Bidding war incited as Maurice Blackburn joins AMP class action onslaught

Bidding war incited as Maurice Blackburn joins AMP class action onslaught

Maurice Blackburn has become the third firm to investigate a class action lawsuit against AMP, while two other law firms have officially lodged proceedings against the financial services giant.

Provoking a class action bidding war, Maurice Blackburn has promised a low commission rate of 12.5 per cent as it goes toe-to-toe with rival class action firms Phi Finney McDonald, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan (QE), Slater and Gordon and Shine Lawyers.

Thus far, QE has launched official proceedings against AMP in the Supreme Court of New South Wales while Phi Finney McDonald will take AMP to the Federal Court of Australia. The remaining three class actions are still being investigated.

The law firms are circling AMP following revelations of its misconduct at the Financial Services Royal Commission which wiped more than $2 billion off the firm's market capitalisation in a matter of weeks.

AMP says it "intends to vigorously defend the proceedings" which will centre on revelations that the bank charged its customers fees for services that were never provided.

AMP publicly admitted this wrongdoing, in addition to the fact it repeatedly and deliberately misled corporate watchdog ASIC from the truth.

QE partner Damian Scattini says AMP's deceit is "reprehensible" and that it must be held financially accountable for its actions.

"I don't think there's anyone in Australia who hasn't been shocked and appalled by the behaviour exposed by the Royal Commission," says Scattini.

"AMP admitted it has been misleading its customers and the market for years it knowingly charged its loyal customers fees for advisory services it never provided, and then repeatedly lied about it to the corporate regulator."

It is reported that the collection of class actions against AMP could amount to the largest in Australian history, involving a payout of more than $2 billion.

Maurice Blackburn is the only firm among its competitors to have recovered more than $100 million in shareholder class actions, a record it has achieved on seven occasions.

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