Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the answers to some common questions about the a2 Milk Class Action.
What is the a2 Milk Class Action about?
The a2 Milk Class Action is a legal action that has been commenced on behalf of certain shareholders against The a2 Milk Company Limited (a2 Milk). It is an ‘opt-in’ action meaning that those who want to join must take action to join. (See answers to additional questions below)
The Action will seek compensation for eligible a2 Milk shareholders who allegedly suffered losses as a result of the significant decline in the value of a2 Milk shares between approximately August 2020 and May 2021. For eligibility requirements, see below.
What is a class action?
A class action (technically called a ‘representative action’ in New Zealand) is a legal action brought by one or more named plaintiffs on behalf of a class of people (known as ‘class members’) who have the same or similar legal rights.
Class actions allow access to justice for people who may not be able to bring their own individual legal action against a defendant.
How do I know I am eligible to join the class action?
The a2 Milk Class Action is open to all shareholders who:
acquired shares in a2 Milk at any time during the period 19 August 2020 to 9 May 2021; or
acquired shares in a2 Milk before the period above, and continued to hold some or all of those shares for part or all of that period; or
fall into both of the above categories.
Shares may have been purchased or sold on either the NZX or ASX stock exchanges.
It is possible the time period may be widened, depending on further understanding of the relevant events.
How do I join the class action?
If you are eligible to join (see above), you can register your interest in joining the class action by clicking here >
Please note - by registering your interest, you agree that you are not retaining Thorn Law to act for you at this stage.
Who is funding the class action?
The action is funded by CHC Investment Fund III Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Court House Capital Pty Limited (CHC). CHC is a litigation funder based in Sydney, Australia. See further the questions answered by CHC below.
Do I need to become a member of the class to be entitled to a payment from the class action it is successful?
Yes. This is an opt-in class action which means only shareholders who opt-in to the class action will be entitled to a share of any recovery from a successful resolution of the class action.
How long is the legal process likely to take?
This is difficult to estimate. The time taken to complete a legal process is dependent upon a number of factors, including the nature/complexity of the issues, the number of parties involved, the number/scale of interlocutory (pre-trial) matters, the positions and tactics adopted by the defendants, the availability of the courts, and whether there are any appeals. At present we expect it could take between three and five years for this class action to be resolved.
Will my personal details be kept private?
Your personal information will only be used for the purposes of the legal proceedings, or as required by the Court or by law. Your personal information will otherwise be retained in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.
What documents do I need to keep as part of the class action?
You will be required to keep all documents relating to the purchase or sale of shares in The a2 Milk Company. These include contract notes, broker statements and similar transactional records.
Will registering for the a2 Milk Class Action mean I become a client of Thorn Law?
No. Registering with the a2 Milk Class Action will not make you a client of Thorn Law. By registering your interest, you agree that you are not retaining Thorn Law to act for you at this stage, but you do agree that the information you have supplied may be used and assessed by Thorn Law and its agents for the purpose of assessing the viability of your claim for inclusion in the class action. It may be necessary for Thorn Law to seek further information from you. In the event that you are invited to join the class action, submitting the registration of interest does not oblige you to join.
Questions answered by Court House Capital Pty Limited regarding funding of the legal action
Australian litigation funder, Court House Capital Pty Limited has provided answers to these questions:
Are there any other legal proceedings seeking to recover compensation for a2 Milk shareholders?
To date, the a2 Milk Class Action is the only known legal proceeding in New Zealand seeking compensation for a2 Milk shareholders who allegedly suffered loss due to the decline in value of a2 Milk shares. However, two separate proceedings have been filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria in Australia. For further information see: https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/law-and-practice/specialist-lists-of-the-court/group-proceedings-class-actions/a2-milk-group
How much does it cost to join the class action?
There is no cost to shareholders to join the class action.
What will I have to pay if the legal claim is successful?
If the legal claim is successful, then while funding is in place and subject to its terms, you will not need to pay the costs of the class action out of your own pocket.
If there is a favourable settlement or court judgment, the proceeds will be distributed in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement. CHC is entitled to receive a defined percentage of any recovery, before the balance of proceeds is distributed to the class members. CHC recommends that you review the terms of the funding agreement carefully, and seek your own legal advice on these.
Will I have to pay anything if the legal claim is not successful?
CHC, through its subsidiary CHC Investment Fund III Pty Limited, is providing funding for the legal claim and as per the terms of the funding agreement will cover legal costs, expert costs and disbursements. On success, CHC will recover a percentage of the recovery, inclusive of costs. If the case is not successful, there will be no out of pocket costs for the class members and CHC will not take a fee.
What are the benefits of litigation funding?
The main benefit of litigation funding is it can provide access to justice for those with legal claims who would otherwise be unable to bring these without the benefit of funding. A litigation funder agrees to take the financial risks and burdens of litigation in return for receiving a percentage of recovery if the claim is successful.