IMF Bentham and William Roberts Lawyers announce a class action regarding combustible cladding in Australia
SYDNEY, 30 October 2018: Australia’s leading dispute financier IMF Bentham Limited (ASX:IMF) and William Roberts Lawyers announced today their intention to pursue a class action seeking compensation for property owners of residential, commercial, mixed-use, and other non-residential buildings throughout Australia on which there is aluminum composite panel cladding with a core comprised substantially of polyethylene (PE Core Cladding).
PE Core Cladding is a popular, aesthetic, external cover for buildings, however it is highly combustible and therefore potentially dangerous. Buildings covered in PE Core Cladding posing a safety risk may need to have such cladding removed and replaced with a safer alternative. This is likely to be an expensive undertaking (potentially requiring relocation of occupants) and the Class Action seeks compensation for owners who have, or will need to, undertake such rectification works.
If the class action proceeds, this will be Australia’s first announced class action seeking compensation for owners relating to the PE Core Cladding.
In Melbourne, the ‘Lacrosse’ tower, a 23-storey mixed-use building (comprising residential & commercial lots) suffered a potentially fatal fire after its combustible cladding caught fire on 25 November 2014. In London, cladding on the ‘Grenfell’ tower caught fire on 14 June 2017, resulting in loss of lives and property.
Although governments across Australia are now identifying affected buildings and restricting and prohibiting certain PE Core Cladding, responsibility for replacing PE Core Cladding on existing buildings largely rests with property owners. For strata schemes, responsibility will fall to Owners Corporations to take action (with potential liability if they fail to act).
How do owners know if their building is affected?
Unfortunately, many owners do not know if their building’s cladding is non-compliant and expert advice may be needed to determine the answer. IMF Bentham is providing funding for building experts retained by William Roberts who can assess buildings (at no cost to owners unless there is a recovery) once owners register with IMF Bentham www.imf.com.au/cladding.
What can affected parties do?
The class action is open to ‘affected property owners’ and long term lease-holders who have or may suffer financial loss due to the need to remove PE Core Cladding. This could include:
- Residential & mixed-use buildings - individual premises owners and owners corporations
- Commercial and other non-residential buildings - owners and long term lease-holders (eg businesses with a 99-year site lease)
Those affected can register their interest in joining the class action at www.imf.com.au/cladding.
About IMF Bentham
IMF is one of the leading global litigation funders, headquartered in Australia and with offices in the US, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong and the UK. IMF has built its reputation as a trusted provider of innovative litigation funding solutions and has established an increasingly diverse portfolio of litigation funding assets.
IMF has a highly experienced litigation funding team overseeing its investments. We have a 90% success rate over 175 completed investments and have recovered over A$1.4 billion for clients since 2001.
For further information regarding IMF and its activities, please visit www.imf.com.au
About William Roberts Lawyers
William Roberts is a dynamic and innovative law firm with a focus on dispute resolution and litigation, with significant expertise in class actions and accredited specialists in building and construction. The firm has offices across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Singapore.