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09-194AD ASIC commences proceedings against Perth financial services business

Wednesday 7 October 2009

ASIC has filed an application for leave in the Federal Court in Perth to commence proceedings against Brighton Hall Securities Pty Ltd (in Liquidation). This action, which will seek damages on behalf of a number of Westpoint investors who were clients of Brighton Hall Securities, is one of 19 civil actions ASIC is now taking to recover funds for the benefit of Westpoint investors.

ASIC will allege that Brighton Hall Securities was negligent in relation to its investigation of Westpoint products and its subsequent recommendations to its clients to invest in Westpoint products.

Brighton Hall Securities carried on a financial services business from Applecross and South Perth in Western Australia prior to entering into liquidation in September 2007.

ASIC's proposed claim against Brighton Hall will seek to recover compensation in the order of $14 million. However, given Brighton Hall's liquidation, it is anticipated that the funds available to satisfy this claim will be limited to any available insurance proceeds.

ASIC has filed this application following negotiations with the relevant parties aimed at preventing the need to commence litigation.

ASIC is using its power under section 50 of the ASIC Act, which enables it to begin and carry on civil proceedings for damages for investors where it appears to ASIC that such proceedings are in the public interest.

Approximately 170 investors could possibly benefit from the action should the application for leave to file succeed. An investor's entitlement to benefit from the action will depend on the product type and the investor's individual circumstances.

The matter will return to the Court on 16 November 2009.

ASIC will continue to keep Westpoint investors informed of the progress of the application for leave to commence these proceedings via its dedicated Westpoint investor website (westpoint.asic.gov.au).
Investors with questions about ASIC’s Westpoint compensation actions can also call 1300 300 630.

ASIC has commenced compensation proceedings against six other financial licensees that recommended Westpoint products:

Editor's note: On 20 November 2009 the Federal Court granted leave for the proceedings to be brought and continued against Brighton Hall. The matter will return to Court on a date to be fixed in 2010.

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