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Since October 2017, Balance Legal Capital has been financing proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland by a group of sorghum growers in Queensland and New South Wales who purchased sorghum seed allegedly contaminated with “shattercane”.  Shattercane is a noxious weed that can severely damage crop yields and take many years to be completely eradicated from soil.

The case is a landmark case in Queensland, being the first class action commenced under new rules for group actions introduced in the Supreme Court on 1 March 2017.

The case is currently being brought as an “open” class action, meaning that all sorghum growers in Queensland and New South Wales that purchased affected seed are included in the action and are entitled to compensation.  As at mid-February 2018, over 50 growers had registered their interest in connection with the action.  Sorghum growers that may be affected can register their interest here.

Balance Legal Capital is proud to be supporting this case which is an example of third party finance being used to obtain justice and compensation for individuals who may otherwise have lacked the resources and coordination to take on a large corporation.  Under the funding arrangement, Balance assumes the entire financial risk of the proceedings in exchange for a return if the case results in a recovery for growers.  This arrangement avoids the need for growers, many of whom are currently under financial strain, to contribute money to support the action and bear the risk of an order to pay the defendants’ costs if the action fails.

Douglas Campbell QC and Blair Hall are counsel for the plaintiffs in the action, instructed by Creevey Russell Lawyers.

The team at Balance Legal Capital has considerable experience in relation to class actions and funding issues that arise in these types of action.  Let us know if we can help.

  • Simon Burnett
    Simon Burnett Partner

Simon Burnett is a partner of Balance Legal Capital LLP, a provider of third party funding for international arbitration and litigation, headquartered in London, UK. If you would like to discuss this case, please contact Simon or the BLC team.

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