Frances Dreyer Partner

Meet Frances

Frances Dreyer specialises in large and complex Federal and Supreme Court litigation in the areas of audit and accountant liability and investor class actions.

Frances has acted for the plaintiffs in large audit, accounting and compliance audit liability cases consistently over the past decade and has been involved in both bringing, and defending, significant class actions related to securities and other financial products.

Frances has held a central co-ordinating role on numerous large scale litigation matters run by Johnson Winter & Slattery.

Frances graduated from Flinders University of South Australia in 2005 with degrees in Law and Economics. She was awarded the University Medal for her studies in law, was the Dux of the Law School and was the graduating law student with the highest ranking Honours score.

Experience

General

ASIC

acted for ASIC in litigation bought by it under section 50 of the ASIC Act against the auditors and former directors of the failed Westpoint Group of companies. This litigation is recognised as one of the largest and most complex claims ever made in Australia and ultimately resulted in a settlement of over $50 million (2008 – 2011). Assisting ASIC (on secondment as a project manager) in its claims ANZ and Westpac bank in respect of rate rigging (BBSW cases) and in preparing expert evidence.

Audit and accounting negligence

Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust (GEAT)

Acting for GEAT (one of the largest Aboriginal trusts in Australia) and the Statutory Manager appointed to GEAT in relation to claims in the Supreme Court of Northern Territory made against GEAT’s former auditor, accountants and solicitors seeking damages for permitting fraud to occur within the fund over many years. Successfully settled.

MFS Premium Income Fund Class Action

Acting for the applicants in a class action in the Federal Court of Australia arising from the failure of the A$1 billion MFS Premium Income Fund. The claim was against the fund’s former compliance plan auditors, KPMG, and former directors. Successfully settled.

Ausbil Investment Management Limited (Ausbil)

Acting for Ausbil in respect of claims made by it in the Federal Court of Australia against its auditors and compliance plan auditors in relation to overcharging of fees worth in excess of $30 million. Successfully settled.

Shareholder/Financial Product Class Actions/ Litigation Funding

Dick Smith Class Action

Acting for the institutional investor plaintiffs in a $200M shareholder class action arising out of failures of disclosure and accounting irregularities.

Quintis Class Action

Acting for the defendant company in respect of two shareholder class actions seeking damages of over $100M arising from failures of disclosure, including particular work on share inflation measurement.

DDH Graham Class Action

Acting for the defendant money market manager company in a $60M class action commenced by retail deposit holders. Successfully settled.

MFS Premium Income Fund Class Action Settlement Administration

Designing and administering the PIF Class Action settlement scheme, which saw damages payments made to over 7000 unit holders.

ICP

Co-ordinated the legal work required for establish the ICP litigation funding vehicle.

Recognition

Career & qualifications

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours, First Class), Flinders University (University Medal)
  • Bachelor of Economics, Flinders University

Memberships

  • Law Society of New South Wales
  • Federal Court of Australia Professional Liaison Committee