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On 10 December 2020, Slater and Gordon issued the IPO Wealth Fund class action in the Federal Court of Australia.

Slater and Gordon is representing unitholders in the IPO Wealth Fund (the Fund) in a class action against Vasco Investment Managers Limited (the Trustee) and DH Flinders Pty Ltd (DH Flinders).

The Fund is an unregistered unit trust formerly associated with property investor James Mawhinney. Unitholders were notified in early 2020 that interest payments and redemptions from the Fund would be suspended after the Fund’s investment manager IPO Wealth Pty Ltd (the Investment Manager) failed to make repayments due to the Fund. Robson J of the Victorian Supreme Court ordered that the Fund be put into liquidation in September 2020.

The class action alleges, among other things, that the Trustee and/or DH Flinders misled investors in the marketing and promotion of the Fund. In particular, that misleading representations were made about the likely returns, investment strategy, risks associated with and sources of liquidity available to the Fund. The class action also alleges that key information was not disclosed to investors prior to making their investment. ASIC has issued separate proceedings in relation to the marketing of similar financial products sold by entities related to the Fund.

Allegations

The class action will allege that:

  • the Trustee’s agent (the Investment Manager) engaged in misleading conduct in the making of representations and non-disclosure of matters within key documents issued to promote the Fund and the Trustee is liable for the conduct of its agent;
  • the Trustee engaged in misleading conduct in the making of representations and non-disclosure of matters within the information memoranda issued to investors;
  • DH Flinders is responsible for the conduct of its authorised representative, who was the Investment Manager, for the misleading conduct of the Investment Manager in the making of representations and non-disclosure of matters within key documents issued to promote the Fund;
  • each of the Trustee and DH Flinders are liable to the Claimants for the loss and damage caused to each of them.

Registration

All unitholders in the Fund as at the date of the commencement of the proceeding may be eligible to register to participate. If you purchased units in the Fund please register your details using the link below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you held units in the Fund as at the commencement of the proceeding you may be eligible to participate in this proceeding and we encourage you to register.

Class actions in Australia are ‘opt out’, which means the Court assumes you want to be part of the class action unless you fill out an ‘opt out’ notice telling the Court that you do not wish to participate. For now, unless you choose to opt out, you will remain a member of the class. In the event of a successful judgment or settlement, you will be required to register in order to receive any compensation that may be available.

There are no out of pocket costs paid by you as a result of your participation or registration in the claim. This class action is being run on a No Win No Fee* basis. Slater and Gordon will pay all of the up-front costs of running the case and our fees and the disbursements will be paid at the end of the class action out of the funds available as part of a judgment or settlement in the event of a successful outcome. If the case is unsuccessful, Slater and Gordon will not charge you anything or seek to recover the funds it has spent on the case from you.

Generally, most class actions tend to take between one and three years to resolve, although each class action is different, and the time required for a claim depends on a variety of factors, such as the complexity of the issues involved, the amount of evidence to be considered, and the tactics adopted by the defendants in defending the claim.