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Phi Finney McDonald

Melbourne Office

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This content is provided by Phi Finney McDonald.

Managing Partners: Ben Phi, Odette McDonald, Tim Finney

Number of partners: 6

Number of lawyers: 20

Languages: German, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese and Telugu

Firm Overview:

  • Founded in 2017 by leading class action lawyers
  • Retained and publicly-backed by largest institutional investors in the world
  • First firm to be awarded sole carriage of an Australian class action in a contested ‘beauty contest’, with competing claims/firms permanently stayed

Phi Finney McDonald is one of Australia’s leading class action law firms, and has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia and in London, UK.

The firm specialises in complex and large-scale litigation, with a focus on shareholder and environmental class actions. Its founders previously led the class actions practice at one of Australia’s largest plaintiff firms. With over fifty years’ litigation experience and thirty-five years of specialist class actions experience, the firm’s founders have achieved over half a billion dollars in class action settlements.

In its shareholder class action practice, Phi Finney McDonald has established the trust and confidence of some of the largest institutional investors in the world. The firm's repeat clients include some of the largest and most influential pension schemes, private investors, sovereign wealth funds, and investment platforms across the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.

In a highly competitive market, Phi Finney McDonald won contested carriage motions for lead counsel status in high profile class actions against BHP Billiton and GetSwift. The firm draws on this expertise to drive significant public interest actions on behalf of groups seeking access to justice in landmark human rights matters, representing First Nations Leaders against the Commonwealth of Australia to establish a pioneering climate litigation model in Australian courts.

Phi Finney McDonald is unique in the Australian market. While its lawyers have the experience and relationships of a large law firm, they operate within a lean, boutique structure with minimal overheads, and a purpose-built IT platform. This allows the firm to provide top quality legal services at a lower cost than its rivals.

The firm has received judicial praise for developing innovative litigation funding structures that reduce costs and improve client returns.

The firm places a particular emphasis on corporate governance and environmental and social responsibility. It actively seeks to frame class actions so as to produce the greatest possible improvement in corporate behaviour, reflecting the stewardship.

Main Areas of Practice:

Class Actions

Class Actions – Dispute Resolution

Class Actions:

7 Partners, 31 fee earners in Melbourne, Australia; 2 Partners, 3 fee earners in Sydney, Australia; 1 Partner and 1 fee earner in London, United Kingdom

Phi Finney McDonald is conducting a class action against Westpac Banking Corporation, alleging that the company misled investors in relation to alleged breaches of AML/CTF legislation. This class action was brought after AUSTRAC commenced proceedings against Westpac alleging 23 million breaches of the AML/CTF Act.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia class action alleges that the company misled investors in relation to alleged breaches of AML/CTF legislation. This class action was brought after AUSTRAC commenced proceedings against CBA alleging widespread non-compliance with its AML/CTF obligations.

The BHP class action seeks recovery of investor losses for the company’s disclosure contraventions relating to the catastrophic collapse of the Fundão dam in Brazil in November 2015.

Phi Finney McDonald represents Torres Strait Islanders in a landmark climate change class action against the Commonwealth of Australia. The class action represents that the Commonwealth government owes a duty of care to protect the lives, land and cultural heritage of Torres Strait Islanders from the devastating impact of climate change.

The firm represents former Collingwood FC players Heritier Lumumba, Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer in their claims against the club, alleging systemic racial discrimination.

Key Clients:

■ Californian State Teachers’ Retirement System

■ Teachers Retirement System of Texas

■ Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association

■ Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board

■ Pabai Pabai and Paul Kabai on behalf of Torres Strait Islanders


Kelly Basset, General Manager

Email: [email protected]

Tel : +61 3 9134 7100



MELBOURNE: Level 3, 325 Flinders Lane Victoria, 3000

Tel: +61 3 9134 7100

Email: [email protected]

SYDNEY: Level 29, 85 Castlereagh Street New South Wales, 2000

Tel: +61 2 7209 1644

Email: [email protected]



LONDON: 25 Southampton Buildings Holborn, WC2A 1AL

Tel: +44 203 709 9315

Email: [email protected]