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Campaign seeks to ‘keep corporations honest’ as class action inquiry begins

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has today launched its inquiry into the regulation of the class action industry.

Slater and Gordon’s head of class action Ben Hardwick and class action litigant Rebecca Oates are spearheading a counter-campaign to ‘keep corporations honest’.

Mr Hardwick told Jim Wilson class actions are a vital way to “level the playing field … to take on the big end of town”.

“If you want to sue a large bank or insurance company, it takes a lot of effort and a lot of money.

“You can bet your bottom dollar …. the bank’s going to get the best lawyers in town.”

He believes the inquiry is the result of business lobbyists trying to have the law changed in favour of powerful corporations.

“We’ve already seen … the Morrison government take steps to water down class action laws, and this parliamentary inquiry is just another step.”

Ms Oates participated in a class action against American medical device manufacturer Johnson & Johnson after she received a faulty pelvic mesh implant.

She told Jim the litigation helped her on a path to physical and psychological recovery.

“I began to seek medical treatment again, and stand up for myself, and know that I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t crazy, and this was happening to thousands of other women across the country.

“It would just be a shame if things changed, and little people like me wouldn’t be able to get together and seek justice.”

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Image: Getty