Selig v Wealthsure Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 18 (13 May 2015)

I refer you to the judgment summary.

Where there are multiple claims arising from the same facts, the High Court unanimously held that the defence of non-apportionable claims can be maintained, even if they are for the same loss.

In this instance, Mr and Mrs Selig made a claim for damages based on breaches of ss 1041H and 1041E of the Corporations Act (Cth). They were successful, but the Full Federal Court allowed proportionate liability under both sections, whereas the High Court held proportionate liability only applied to s. 1041H and not s.1041E, which was a criminal provision.

Similar analogue provisions apply to the Trade Practices Act 1974/Competition and Consumer Act 2010 or in state legislation.

This is contrary to the line of reasoning from the decision in Hunt & Hunt Lawyers v Mitchell Morgan Nominees Pty Ltd and Other (2013) 247 CLR 613; [2013] HCA 10 to the extent that it is based on the “nature of the loss and damage…rather than upon the nature of the…causes of action”.

David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister & Mediator

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