Member Profiles

Contact Details

Ben Slade
William Forster Chambers

Level 1, 26 Harry Chan Avenue
DARWIN NT 0801

GPO Box 4369

Tel: (08) 8982 4700
Fax:
Email: bslade@williamforster.com

Year and Place of First Admission

1984, NSW

Jurisdictions

High Court, Federal Courts and Tribunals, Northern Territory, South Australia, NSW, Victoria

Degrees, Appointments

  • LLB Bec (ANU)
  • Principal Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre, NSW 1989 – 1993
  • Chair, Consumer Credit Legal Centre, NSW 1990 – 1992
  • Manager, General Law, Legal Aid Commission of NSW, 1993 – 2000;
  • Counsellor, Law Society of NSW, 1991 – 1993;
  • Chair of the following committees of the Law Society of NSW: Consumer Law, Public Affairs, Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme, Human Rights, 1991 – 1993
  • Trustee, Consumer Education Trust Fund, 1997 – 2004
  • Secretary, Australian Section, International Commission of Jurists, 1997 – 2001
  • Director, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, 2009 – 2015
  • Core Member, Federal Court Liaison Committee of the Law Council of Australia, 2013 – present
  • Director, Choice, 2015 – 2019
  • Co-Chair, Class Actions Committee of the Law Council of Australia, 2014  – present
  • Chair, Australian Consumer Law Committee, Law Council of Australia, 2016 – present
  • Fellow, Australian Academy of Law, 2021 – present


Areas of Practice

Class Actions, Collective Investments, Commercial Law, Competition and Consumer Law, Corporations, Equity, Financial Services, Human Rights, Insurance, Managed Investment Schemes, Negligence, Personal Injury, Product Liability

Career

After almost 10 years at Sydney’s Redfern Legal Centre working on human rights and consumer law, Ben was appointed the Manager, General Law, Legal Aid Commission of NSW where he oversaw a practice of over 100 lawyers and others working on civil law matters.  In 2000 he joined Maurice Blackburn’s Class Action department before becoming the Managing Principal, NSW, Maurice Blackburn in 2006.  He left Maurice Blackburn in January 2022 to join the Bar in Darwin.

Class actions that Ben has conducted and supervised have recovered over $1 billion for investors, consumers and victims of human rights abuses. 

Recognition

  • 2012 National Award for Outstanding Legal Representation of the Rights and Interests of Children and Young People
  • 2017 Highly Commended: NSW Law Society President’s Medal
  • 2016 – 2020 AFR Best Lawyers in Class Actions, Australia
  • 2016 – 2021 Doyle’s Guide, Leading or Recommended Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Lawyer, NSW
  • 2021 The Legal 500: Leading Individual, Class Actions Australia


Major Cases as Solicitor on the Record

  • Jenkings v Northern Territory of Australia (No 3) [2021] FCA 621 (a class action that settled in 2021 for $35m for people who suffered assaults and deprivation of residual liberty while in youth detention)
  • Sanda v PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd (No 7) [2021] FCA 237 and Sanda v PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd (No.5) [2019] FCA 932 (a class action for 15,483 Indonesian seaweed farmers)
  • Simpson v Thorn Australia Pty Ltd trading as Radio Rentals (No 2) [2019] FCA 838 (a class action seeking refunds for over 160,000 class members that settled in 2019 for $29m)
  • McKay Super Solutions Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (No 2) [2019] FCA (a shareholder class action with another firm that settled in 2019 for $50m)
  • Re Gallagher [2018] 17 (High Court)
  • Alley v Gillespie [2018] 11 (High Court)
  • Lynch v Cash Converters Personal Finance Pty Limited (No.4) [2018] FCA 988 (one of 4 class actions against Cash Converters that settled for a total of $82m)
  • Jones v Treasury Wine Estates Limited (No 2) [2017] FCA 296 (a shareholder class action that settled for $49m)
  • McAlister v State of NSW (No 2) [2017] FCA 93 (a class action for 50 residents of a premises for the intellectually disabled that settled for $4m, plus costs)
  • Attorney-General v Honourable Mark Dreyfus [2016] FCAFC 119
  • Hopkins v AECOM Australia Pty Ltd (No 8) [2016] FCA 1096 (a class action for investors in a tunnel that settled for $121m)
  • Stanford v DePuy International Ltd (No 6) [2016] FCA 1452 (a class action for persons injured by prosthetic hips that settled for $250m)
  • Gray v Cash Converters International Limited and others (No.2) [2015] FCA 1109 in the Federal Court and on appeal in Cash Converters International v Gray [2014] FCAFC 111
  • Konneh v State of NSW (No.3) [2013] NSWSC 1424 (a class action that settled for 50 falsely imprisoned young people for $4m)
  • Hadchiti and others v Nufarm Limited [2012] FCA 1524 (a shareholder class action settled for $46.6m)
  • Foley v Gunns Ltd [2012] FCA 595 (Federal Court of Australia)
  • Jarra Creek Central Packing Shed Pty Ltd v Amcor Limited [2011] FCA 671 (price fixing cartel class action in the cardboard box market that settled for $120m)
  • Hobbs Anderson Investments Pty Ltd v Oz Minerals Ltd [2011] FCA 801 (a shareholder class action settled for $60m)
  • Watson v AWB Limited (No 7) [2010] FCA 41 (one of Australia’s first shareholder class actions. It settled for $39m)
  • Ackers & Ors v Austcorp International Ltd [2009] FCA 432
  • Rod Investments (Vic) Pty Ltd v Clark (No 2) [2006] VSC 342
  • Courtney v Medtel Pty Ltd (No 3) [2004] FCA 347 and Darcy v Medtel Pty Ltd (No 3) [2004] FCA 807 (two class actions for those injured by defective pacemakers both of which settled for $5m)
  • Lukey v Corporate Investment Australia Funds Management Pty Ltd and others [2003] FCA 1601 (1/10/2003); and [2003] FCA 1602 (a class action against the trustee of a managed investment scheme that settled for $4.8m)
  • Hams v CGU Insurance Limited (2002) 12 ANZ Ins Cas 61-542 (27/8/2002); [2002] NSWSC 716 (15/8/2002); (2002) 12 ANZ Ins Cas 61-525 (12/4/2002) (the seminal decision on flood insurance and ASIC’s intervention powers)
  • Tsang Chi Ming v Uvanna Pty Ltd t/as North West Immigration Services (1996) 140 ALR 273 (one of the first Federal Court class actions)
  • State Bank of New South Wales v. Various Debtors [1995] ASC ¶55-207 (an action concerning breaches of credit disclosure laws that resulted in a $5m penalty being imposed on the bank)
  • El Masri v. The Commercial Tribunal of New South Wales, Ford Credit Limited and Ors (1991) ASC ¶56-094 (Supreme Court of NSW)
  • Sullivan v Waltons Credit Ltd (1990) ASC 56-023; BC9001582 (Supreme Court of NSW)
  • Custom Credit Corporation Limited v. McInnes & Anor (1989) ASC ¶56-007 (NSW Court of Appeal)
  • A-G Commonwealth v. Burcher and others (1986) 68 ALR 457 (High Court)
  • Riley v. Parole Board of NSW (1985) 3 NSWLR 606 (NSW Court of Appeal) (a decision affirming that the Parole Board must afford prisoners natural justice)
  • Cartwight v. Corrective Services Commission (1985) 2 NSWLR 489; 62 ALR 123 (Supreme Court of NSW).


Publications

  • With Professor V Morabito and S Gibbs: Post-Brewster Jurisprudence – The Future of the Common Fund Doctrine: to be published in (2022) 96 Australian Law Journal (forthcoming)
  • With K Hill Insuring justice through class actions: The potential of third party claims against insurers (2019) 154 Precedent at 40
  • With J Ekstein Class Actions and Social Justice: Achievements and Barriers, Chapter 13 of “25 Years of Class Actions in Australia” edited by Grave and Mould 2017 Herbert Smith Freehills and Ross Parsons Centre
  • Class Actions and Social Value – (2015) 132 Precedent
  • With J Emmerig and Professor M Legg: Representative Proceedings – Chapter 13 of the Federal Court Case Management Handbook, 2014
  • With J Tang Shareholder Class Actions – a mechanism to encourage corporate responsibility –  (2005) 70 Precedent at 4
  • With M Nagy and J Tang Change to the Trade Practices Act limits personal injury claims (2004) 42(9) LSJ at 74
  • With M Duffy Financial Services Reform Equity Vol. 18 No. 2 April 2004 at 1
  • Stringent New Disclosure Rules Govern Financial Advisers (2002) 40(7) LSJ at 56
  • Remedies for Financial Abuse – Advising Older Clients (2002) 51 Plaintiff at 6
  • Class Actions: Watch out for the details (2002) 16 (3) CLQ p3
  • The Consumer Credit Code – Acting for a Debtor – Lawyers Practice Manual, Law Book Company 1997 and 1999
  • Not Enough Lawyers – Legal Aid Civil Law Service Delivery (1998) 36(11) LSJ at 58
  • How to Use Industry Funded Consumer Dispute Resolution Schemes and Why (1998) 36(1) LSJ at p58
  • In Whose Interest? Avco’s Lending Practices Exposed – Legal Aid (NSW) and the Consumers’ Federation of Australia, 1997
  • The Consumer Credit Code – Practical Implications for Consumers and their Lawyers (1996) 34 (9) LSJ p36
  • The Credit Act 1984 – Acting for a Debtor – Lawyers Practice Manual, Law Book Company, Sydney, 1995
  • Consumer Credit – The NSW HomeFund Debacle and Consumer Protection Legislation – Competition and Consumer Law Journal; Vol 2, Butterworths, Sydney 1994
  • Debt Survival Guide, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing (First edition 1987; second edition 1989)