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The Supreme Court of NSW has today approved a $28.5 million settlement in a class action brought by Slater and Gordon against Australian Executor Trustees Limited (AET), the trustees of Provident Capital Limited (Provident).

The action was brought by Slater and Gordon on a No Win No Fee basis on behalf of approximately 1,900 Australians who suffered financial losses after investing in the collapsed debenture issuer.

Slater and Gordon alleged the Trustee failed in its duties to ensure that Provident would have sufficient property available to repay debenture holders when their investment came due. Had AET acted sooner, the action alleged, substantial losses could have been avoided for some investors and minimized for others.

The Firm began investigating the case in 2012, electing to take it on a No Win No Fee basis, and launching proceedings in the Federal Court in 2014. In 2015 the action was transferred to the NSW Supreme Court. Settlement was reached on 31 July 2018, the first day of the trial.

Slater and Gordon Head of Class Actions Ben Hardwick said today’s judgment brought to a close a six year legal battle on behalf of investors.

“This was a unique case and there has only ever been one other similar in terms of precedent,” Mr Hardwick said.

“The length and complexity of this case was compounded by numerous cross claims and third party claims, as well as a complex opt-out process ordered by the court halfway through.

“The compensation that investors will receive from this settlement is in addition to that already provided by receivers,” Mr Hardwick said.

“We will now ensure that this compensation gets into the hands of investors as soon as possible. We have a strong record of getting compensation into the hands of claimants swiftly, indeed, the recent Manus Island distribution was one of the fastest and most efficient settlement distribution processes ever.”

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