Slater and Gordon and Perth bushfire litigation lawyer Kevin Banks-Smith are investigating a potential class action on behalf of residents and property owners, following the recent Margaret River fire.
The Margaret River fire arose in circumstances that are now the subject of a formal Western Australian Government inquiry.
Slater and Gordon and Mr Banks-Smith will provide advice to those affected by the fire on the legal implications, and in particular, their rights in regard to pursuing compensation for their financial losses caused by the fire.
Dozens of homes were razed and substantial damage was done to property as the result of fires which were started by employees of the Department of Environment and Conservation.
"People have lost their homes, their possessions and their livelihoods have been affected. They have the right to seek answers and they have a right to know where they stand legally," Mr Banks-Smith said.
Mr Banks-Smith has previously represented groups impacted by the Tenterden Fire of 2003 and the Toodyay Fire of 2007. He currently represents the Toodyay Fire Action Group in regard to the 2009 Toodyay Fire, and the Kelmscott Bushfire Action Group in regard to the 2011 Roleystone/Kelmscott fire. Mr Banks-Smith had been appointed to act as a consultant to the firm.
Any person who wishes to receive further information about the legal implications and their rights in regard to the Margaret River Fire can phone Slater and Gordon on 1800 555 777.
Slater and Gordon Commercial and Project Litigation General Manager James Higgins said the firm had run a number of class actions representing people who had suffered personal and property losses.
“While the government needs to look at what happened and how it happened, we want to make sure that those affected have their interests represented,” Mr Higgins said.
“We are pleased that we can work with Kevin, who has obvious specialist skills and knowledge in this area, to investigate a group action on behalf of those most recently affected in the Margaret River area.”
Mr Higgins said no legal proceedings would be commenced prior to the inquiry report being completed.