Vol. 38 No. 1 (2019): The University of Queensland Law Journal

Australian Class Action Settlement Distribution Scheme Design : Deciding Who Gets What

Rebecca Gilsenan
Principal, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Michael Legg
Professor, UNSW Law

Published 2019-10-23


Class actions are legal proceedings brought on behalf of numerous persons, known as group members. When a class action settles for a monetary payment to compensate the group members, the payment needs to be divided among the group members. The division and distribution takes place pursuant to a court-approved settlement distribution scheme (‘SDS’). This article seeks to start the process of elucidating the operation of SDSs by explaining three main types of class action SDS. The article then draws on those SDS models and class action settlement decisions to develop guiding principles or steps for the design of an SDS.