New case key to showing foreign investors Australia’s robust legal system, expert says

National firm acts for investors that have filed three separate proceedings over frozen fund

New case key to showing foreign investors Australia’s robust legal system, expert says

A Gadens partner says that new proceedings before the Supreme Court of Victoria are crucial to showing that Australia has a robust legal system.

Partner Simon Theodore explained the significance of the proceedings, as Gadens announced three lawsuits against Oliver Hume Corporation by investors who fear losing a bulk of their $12m in investments in one of the company’s funds.

“This case will be important to demonstrate to foreign investors that Australia has a robust legal system which allows them to enforce their rights when investments are not managed appropriately,” Theodore said.

The Gadens team on the dispute is headed by Theodore. He is supported by partner Michael Kenny, senior associate Natalie McCabe, and associate Kaleb Cox.

The investors claim that the trustee of the Oliver Hume Australia Property Income Fund provided “imprudent loans” to entities related to the company. They said that interest rates and key terms of these loans were inconsistent with previous representations made to investors.

The investors claim that when the borrowers fell into default, the trustee failed to call in the loans and protect investor interests. Instead, the trustee breached fiduciary and statutory duties by allowing the borrowers to remain in default, the investors claim.

The defendants in the lawsuits include the trustee of the fund and Oliver Hume’s AFSL funds management company, Oliver Hume Property Funds. Michael Duster, managing director of Oliver Hume, and David Rogers, managing director of Oliver Hume Property Funds, have also been named as defendants.

Gadens said that further claims will soon be filed against Oliver Hume in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

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