Dalziel looks at models for funding finance company litigation

Thursday 12 June 2008, 3:25AM
By Lianne Dalziel

An Australian model for funding legal claims by investors in failed finance
companies is one of several that has caught the interest of Commerce
Minister Lianne Dalziel who will meet visiting Australian consumer advocate
Denise Brailey in Hamilton tomorrow.

Lianne Dalziel has also received suggestions by advocates for Blue Chip
investors, including lawyer Paul Dale who wants to see a 'designated
co-ordinator' for Blue Chip investors seeking legal aid.

Denise Brailey works for IMF (Australia) Ltd, a publicly listed company that
provides money for legal action in cases involving large scale commercial
litigation or multiparty actions where the claim size is over A$2 million.
IMF only funds legal action, it does not provide legal advice of any sort.

"I'm very interested in helping investors find ways and means to access
legal advice, especially where a finance or property investment company
failure may be due to illegal behaviour by directors, or where people
invested as a result of shonky advice," Lianne Dalziel said.

"It seems that lack of funding for legal action is one of the biggest
barriers to investors getting their day in court as many do not qualify for
legal aid, despite having lost considerable sums of money and, in some
cases, their life savings or their homes.

"Ms Brailey's company provides an interesting model and I'm interested in
finding out more about it."

Lianne Dalziel said Ms Brailey had a reputation as a passionate and
successful consumer advocate for victims of property or financial advice

"I'm interested in learning more about the cases Ms Brailey has been
involved in and to see if there is anything we in New Zealand can learn from
her experience," Lianne Dalziel said.