The current Fujitsu/IBM hard drive class action on behalf of disgruntled resellers and end users will not be affected by the recent discipline of a Sydney liquidator hired to act as a representative, said a senior associate handling the proceedings.
Levitt Robinson, the solicitors in charge of the case, appointed chartered accountant Andrew Wily of Sydney-based Armstrong Wily & Co to act as a representative once proceedings are filed.
Wily, who was involved in the liquidation of the now-defunct Apple reseller group Buzzle, was given orders by the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary board, following an application by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Wily’s registration as a liquidator was suspended for four months
“Mr Wily failed to carry out or perform adequately and properly the duties of a liquidator,” said a statement released by the ASIC.
He has agreed to pay nearly $125,000 to unpaid creditors arising from his conduct in relation to one of the external administrations. In addition to the payment of unpaid creditors, Wily has undertaken to engage an external compliance consultant to review his compliance systems, among other stipulations, ASIC said.
“His legal problems do not impinge on the case in any way,” senior associate Louise Steer told ARN. “Andrew Wily isn’t actually our funder. Our funder is independent of Armstrong & Wily,” she said, declining to give specific details of his involvement. “Just rest assured, this will not affect our funding at all.”
She said the firm is in the midst of preparing summaries and contacting class members – resellers and end users - the number of which she didn’t want to divulge. “We will spend the next month taking statements and ascertaining the damages sustained by each client.”
She expects the damages to run in the area of $10 million. “We’re going after business losses for resellers... including lost business opportunity, lost contracts and loss of reputation.”
Once the preparation is complete, the group will file proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia. “The preparation of the case is absolutely critical to the success of the case because we have to ensure that it is strong enough to withstand any defence,” Steer Said.