The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched proceedings against Australia and New Zealand Banking Ltd (ANZ) for statutory unconscionability and provision of financial products otherwise than efficiently, honestly and fairly. In commencing proceedings, ASIC filed a concise statement pursuant to the Commercial and Corporations Practice Note. Following the filing of the statement, Allsop CJ held a case management conference and in doing so handed down a judgment which outlined the approach the Federal Court would take in such matters.
His Honour noted that the Court’s approach was to tailor the management of the proceeding by taking into account the equitable nature of the claim. By doing this, Allsop CJ noted that the rules of equity departed from the traditional approach to pleadings, meaning that concise statements would be ordered. His Honour set out a number of helpful aspects of a concise statement including the importance of setting out a well-drafted narrative of the facts and circumstances that explain in a coherent way why those facts lead to the conclusion contended. The Court also outlined a number of possible departures from the traditional method of litigation in the matter, including oral discovery.