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General Information

  • What is a class action or group proceeding?
  • Do I qualify as a group member? - See Class Action Summary Statement
  • What is expected of me as a group member?

What is the class action about?

  • What are the representative plaintiff's claiming?
  • Are individual circumstances taken into account in a class action?
  • When will Gordon Legal contact me to formulate my individual claim?

Current Status of Proceedings

  • What has the Court ordered?
  • Is Gordon Legal looking to settle, or proceed to trial?
  • Is there a trial date?

Legal Cost Agreement

  • Will I be charged any legal costs if I engage Gordon Legal?
  • Do I have to pay legal fees separately?
  • Will I be out of pocket?
  • What is an uplift fee and why is it charged?
  • If I am already a group member, why should I sign the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement?
  • What happens if I don't sign the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement and I don't opt out? Will I still have to pay fees?
  • If the class action is unsuccessful, will group members be liable for Gordon Legal's costs or the costs of the other parties (Soar/BHI)
  • I have any questions about the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement, can I speak to someone?

Opt out process

  • What is the opt-out process?
  • Why have I been sent notification of the class action?
  • I want to remain in the class action. What do I do?
  • When does the opt-out period end?

What do I need to do now?

  • How do I engage Gordon Legal to act on my behalf?
  • How will Gordon Legal keep me updated through proceedings?
  • Will I need to attend court?

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General Information


What is a class action or group proceeding?

A group proceeding, also known as a class action, is a proceeding brought by the representative plaintiff/s on their own behalf and on behalf of group members against another party(s) called the defendant(s), where the plaintiffs and the group members have similar claims against the defendant(s).

Group proceedings are brought to resolve the common issues of fact or law for the wider group. It is not necessary that Group Members have identical claims. In fact it is to be expected that there will individual differences between the loss and damage suffered by each individual group member.

Do I qualify as a group member? - See the Amended Class Action Summary Statement

You are a group member if you enrolled with Box Hill Institute (BHI) to study a Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Aeroplane) (CPL Diploma) between 6 December 2015 and the date of the commencement of this proceeding, on 26 March 2020

What is expected of me as a group member?

There is nothing that you need to do to remain a group member. If you remain a group member and DO NOT Opt Out, then you will be bound by the decisions the Court makes in the Class Action.

Mediation will take place in March 2021. If a settlement cannot be reached through mediation, a trial of the proceedings is likely to occur in mid-2021. This will determine the personal claims of the four representative plaintiffs and the common questions of fact and law, which have an impact on the claims of all group members.

It is not likely that the individual assessment of your personal claim will take place until after the trial of the proceedings in mid-2021, unless a settlement takes place which is approved by the Court before then. Historically, the majority of civil proceedings, including class actions settle before a full trial of the issues. If you decide to engage Gordon Legal to act for you, we will be able to assist you in preparing for the assessment of your individual claim and provide you with legal advice about your personal circumstances, which will put you in a strong position to ensure that you recover the maximum amount you are entitled to.

Importantly, as a group member you do not have any liability for the costs of the defendants in the event (which we think is unlikely in any case) of the proceeding not being successful.


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What is the class action about?


What are the representative plaintiff's claiming?

Broadly, there are two types of claims being brought:

Refund for student tuition - this includes any VET student loans or money paid upfront to pay tuition fees for the CPL Diploma Course;

Monetary compensation for the damage caused to students undertaking this course. This includes costs (other than tuition) incurred as a result of the course, lost time, general damages for distress and inconvenience, interest and legal costs. To see a more detailed explanation of the claims being made for group members please see Class Action Summary Statement, provided to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Are individual circumstances taken into account in a class action?

Yes. Ultimately the goal of the proceeding is to establish that the Defendants must compensate each Group Member who has suffered loss and damage or the kind recognised by the law as recoverable.

The trial of the proceedings is likely to occur in mid-2021, which will determine the personal claims of the four representative plaintiffs and the common questions of fact and law, which have an impact on the claims of all group members.

It is not likely that the individual assessment of your personal claim will take place until after the trial of the proceedings in mid-2021, unless a settlement is achieved before then. However, if you decide to engage Gordon Legal to act for you, we will be able to assist you in preparing for the assessment of your individual claim and provide you with legal advice about your personal circumstances, to maximise your claim.

Importantly, as a group member you do not have any liability for the costs of the defendants in the event (which we think is unlikely in any case) of the proceeding not being successful.

When will Gordon Legal contact me to formulate my individual claim?

If you decide to retain Gordon Legal to act on your behalf by signing and returning the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement provided to you, you will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire setting out the aspects of your individual claim, which are relevant to the assessment of your individual compensation.

If you need assistance completing that information, a member of our team will be happy to assist you. The information provided will be reviewed by one of our lawyers working on the case, who will be in touch with you if more information is needed.

It is not likely that a final assessment of your individual claim will be made before the Mediation (Settlement conference) which is scheduled for March 2021.


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Current Status of Proceedings


What has the Court ordered?

They key dates for group members to be aware of are:

Group members who wish to opt out of the proceeding, must do so before 4:00pm, 18 November 2020. To 'Opt Out' you must complete the form and return it as per the instructions on the notice (do NOT send this to Gordon Legal);

The matter has been listed before judicial mediator, Associate Justice Eltham of the Supreme Court - with orders requiring the parties to attend a mediation on or before 12 March 2021;

If the matter does not settle at mediation, the matter will be immediately heard for another case management conference on 12 March 2021 and the matter will be set down for trial.

Whilst His Honour did not set a trial date, His Honour did indicate that the proceeding would be listed for trial in or around June 2021.

Please refer to the Court Order's on Gordon Legal's website, from the second case management conference for an exact breakdown of the most recent Orders.

Is Gordon Legal looking to settle, or proceed to trial?

The proceeding could be resolved at any time by settlement, but we do not expect that there will be any substantive negotiations until the Mediation in March 2021. A Mediation (settlement conference) has been set down for early March 2021 and the Court has indicated that if the proceeding is not able to be resolved at Mediation, it will be set down for trial in mid-2021.

We are preparing the case for trial in mid-2021, but of course we will participate in the Mediation process in good faith and with the intention of trying to resolve the issues in dispute between the parties, if that can be achieved in a way which we believe is in the best interests of the Representative Plaintiff's and all Group Members.

If any settlement is achieved at Mediation, the terms of any proposed settlement will need to be approved by the Court. Prior to Court approval, all Group Members will be given the notice of the terms of settlement and be given an opportunity to object to any or all of the terms of settlement if they wish to do so.

Is there a trial date?

Not yet, but the Court has indicated that it is likely that after the Mediation in March 2021, the Court will be able to accommodate a trial in mid-2021.


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Legal Cost Agreement


Will I be charged any legal costs if I engage Gordon Legal?

It is very important that you read and understand the Disclosure Statement and Conditional Legal Cost Agreement provided to you, if you wish to engage Gordon Legal.

However, in essence, unless you terminate the agreement with Gordon Legal, you will not be liable to pay Gordon Legal for the legal costs incurred on your behalf under the Agreement, unless your personal claim for compensation is successful.

Do I have to pay legal fees separately?

No, unless you terminate the agreement, you will not be charged any legal fees by Gordon Legal under the conditional legal costs agreement, unless and until your personal claim is successful and you receive compensation.

Will I be out of pocket?

No. In our agreement, we have proposed to cap our legal costs, so that your share of them could never exceed the amount of compensation recovered on your behalf.

What is an uplift fee and why is it charged?

An uplift fee is part of the legal costs that you will be charged if your personal claim is successful and is calculated as a percentage (in this case 25%) of the professional fees incurred, in acting on your behalf.

The law permits legal practitioners who do work on a conditional fee (sometimes called No Win No Fee) basis to charge an uplift fee, which reflects the risk that they are taking by performing the legal work (and incurring costs to third parties, such as barristers and experts), as well as the cost to them of carrying those costs until the claim is successfully finalised.

If I am already a group member, why should I sign the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement?

You are under no obligation to sign the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement. If you do, we will provide you with advice about your personal claim, including how you should prepare the evidence that will best support your claim for compensation.

What happens if I don't sign the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement and I don't opt out? Will I still have to pay fees?

At the conclusion of the proceedings, it is likely that we will be instructed by the Representative Plaintiffs to seek orders from the Court that will have the effect of sharing the legal costs of the Representative Proceedings, which are not recovered from the Defendants between all Group Members who share in the benefit of the Proceedings.

In making such orders, the Court will (amongst other things) need to be satisfied that the legal costs (and the method used to share those legal costs) is fair and reasonable.

If the class action is unsuccessful, will group members be liable for Gordon Legal's costs or the costs of the other parties (Soar/BHI)?

No.

I have any questions about the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement, can I speak to someone?

Absolutely! If you have any questions regarding the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement, please get in touch with us and a member of the legal team will be happy to assist.

Please contact our office by phone on (03) 9603 3000, or email us at bhisoar@gordonlegal.com.au and a member of our team will be in touch.


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Opt out process


What is the opt-out process?

A group member who wishes to Opt Out of the group proceeding, must do so by 4pm, Wednesday 18 November.

To Opt Out you must follow the instructions set out in the Opt Out notice that you were sent carefully.

Why have I been sent notification of the class action?

Because you are an eligible group member to this class action. The Court made orders to notify all group members of the class action and the process to Opt Out, should they wish to.

Your name and details were provided to us by the Defendants, who were ordered to disclose your identity to us for the limited purpose of us ensuring that you had been notified of the proceedings.

I want to remain in the class action. What do I do?

You don't need to do anything, except consider whether you would also like to retain Gordon Legal to act on your behalf, by signing our Conditional Legal Costs Agreement. If you would like to review this document or have any questions about this please contact our office on (03) 9603 3000.

When does the opt-out period end?

The deadline to opt out of the group proceeding is 4pm, 18 November 2020. You must file this, as per the instructions on your Opt Out notice.

If I don't opt out, will Gordon Legal be representing me? Will I be liable for fees?

If you do not opt out, you will remain a Group Member to the proceeding.

Gordon Legal are currently acting for the four Representative Plaintiffs and all Group Members in respect of the proceedings and the personal claims of those four individuals. So far, some 250 Group Members have already decided to engage Gordon Legal to act on their behalf in relation to their personal claims.

If you would like to retain Gordon Legal to assist you with preparing your individual claim, you will need to become a formal client of ours, by signing our Conditional Legal Costs Agreement.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, it is likely that we will be instructed by the Representative Plaintiffs to seek orders from the Court that will have the effect of sharing the legal costs of the Representative Proceedings between all Group Members who share in the benefit of the Proceedings. This would mean that those who do not opt out and remain a group member to the proceeding, but do not become a client of Gordon Legal by signing the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement, will likely still have to share in the costs of bringing the proceedings.


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What do I need to do now?


How do I engage Gordon Legal to act on my behalf?

Contact Gordon Legal on (03) 9603 3000 or register your interest to participate in the class action at:

  1. Complete the registration form
  2. Upon registration, you will be sent the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement for you to review and sign. If you would like to discuss any aspects of the Conditional Legal Costs Agreement please contact our office and a member of our team would be happy to assist you.
  3. Once you have Conditional Legal Costs Agreement signed, you will be given access to our client portal. Please fill and return out our questionnaire, attaching any requested documents ASAP. This information is vital for the formulation of your damages claim.
How will Gordon Legal keep me updated through proceedings?

We provide our clients with regular updates of the progress of the proceedings, as well as corresponding with them about the preparation of their personal claims from time to time.

Will I need to attend court?

No.


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Register your details here