In front of today’s Parliamentary inquiry into litigation funder, Slater and Gordon tried to claim that the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, had met with the US chamber of commerce (who according to Slater and Gordon are “a foreign lobby group”).
But as usual, the truth is the first victim of the war they are waging against any reform. The treasurer in an answer to questions on notice said he has never met with or received correspondence from the US Chamber of Commerce or its affiliate the Institute for Legal Reform.
The closest the misnamed ‘Keep Corporations Honest’ campaign can come to a conspiracy is a zoom meeting with the Australian based American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and over thirty of its members, whose president is the Hon. Brendan Nelson. In their now desperate attempts to cover up just how much money they make from the misery of ordinary Australians seeking justice anything goes.
We still do not know who is behind this campaign but under questioning today Slater and Gordon admitted it is backed by multi-billion-dollar litigation funders, some of whom have minimum investments are USD 25 million and are located in tax havens around the world that read like a list of James Bond movie locations.
Other revelations today included substantial donations to political parties, unmanaged conflicts of interest and front groups engaging in astro turfing, while unregulated funders earn over 500% on their investments. Is it any wonder they are so opposed to this inquiry?
Besides all these unanswered questions, all we really learnt today is that the class action law firms will say or do anything to keep their rivers of gold flowing.
From the media release of ‘Keep Corporations Honest’.
During one of a number of robust exchanges Jason Falinski challenged the suggestion that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had met with the US Chamber of Commerce...
Class Actions Australia spokesperson Ben Hardwick said the interference of the US lobby was concerning.
“I understand why Mr Falinski found it hard to believe the Treasurer of Australia met with representatives of the US business lobby just days before announcing his regulations that threaten to frustrate access to class actions, but that’s exactly what occurred,” Mr Hardwick said.
“We know the US Chamber of Commerce is lobbying furiously to reduce the impact of Australian class actions because they don’t like their multinational members, like Johnson and Johnson, being sued by regular Australians. It is important to recognise this and fight it. The pernicious influence of big money American-style business lobbying should have no place in Australian politics.”