GetSwift hit with third class action over deceptive conduct allegations
- 18 April, 2018 10:49
Embattled Australian technology start-up, GetSwift (ASX:GSW), has been served with its third class action in as many months over allegedly deceptive conduct relating to its disclosures about certain customer contract agreements.
The publicly-listed tech start-up, which provides an internally-developed “last mile” software-as-a-service (SaaS) logistics solution, told shareholders on 18 April that law firm, Phi Finney McDonald, had filed and served an application commencing class action proceedings against the company.
The latest such application was served in the New South Wales Registry of the Federal Court on 12 April 2018, alleging that GetSwift had breached its continuous disclosure obligations and that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct. It also seeks damages as a result of the alleged actions.
The company said it understood that the action is being financed by litigation funder, Therium Capital Management Limited.
The action joins two previously filed claims against the company, with a second action by law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth Lawyers, on behalf of Shaun McTaggart, served in March.
"The McTaggart statement of claim…alleges the company breached its continuous disclosure obligations and that it engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and seeks damages as a result,” GetSwift told shareholders at the time.
The month prior, in February, the company told shareholders that it had been served by law firm, Squire Patton Boggs, with an application to commence class action proceedings against in the Federal Court.
“The application alleges that the company breached its continuous disclosure obligations and that it engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, and seeks damages as a result,” GetSwift said at the time, while also flagging plans to fight the action.
According to Fairfax Media, GetSwift’s alleged failure to update the market in relation to discontinued contracts with certain customers saw it suspended from trade after the Australian Financial Review questioned the veracity of announcements made to the market on 20-21 January 2018.
On 19 February, when it was reinstated on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the company released a statement saying that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had completed the initial stage of its review into its compliance of ASX listing rules.
The company has said it will vigorously contest any class actions launched against it.
It is understood that the Federal Court judge considering the three class actions has suggested that only one of the cases should proceed, given that they each cover the same key points.
However, it remains to be seen which of the three class actions against GetSwift will proceed.
“I think we can say we’ve crossed the Rubicon that I am persuaded that you won’t be vexed with multiple proceedings. It’s a question of what goes forward…” Justice Lee said in a ruling on 13 April.
Article updated at 2:25PM on 18 April to include additional detail about how many of the class actions are likely to proceed.