Concerns of the corporate mind

Friday, 14 July 2023

Jason Betts, Melissa Gladstone and Vanessa Leyshon (Herbert Smith Freehills) photo
Jason Betts, Melissa Gladstone and Vanessa Leyshon (Herbert Smith Freehills)

    Earlier this year, the class actions team at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) aired a podcast series “On Just Terms”, during which partner Jason Betts met with some of Australia's leading legal and commercial minds to discuss the corporate risk landscape.

    Reflecting on how Australian corporations are navigating the complexity of their litigation and regulatory environments, a common perspective was that given the various forces currently acting on corporations and directors, focus on risk management has not only changed in the past five to 10 years – but it has also substantially increased.

    With so many risks to manage, Herbert Smith Freehills want to understand which risks are of most concern to companies and their boards, and how they are being managed in the current environment.

    In order to help gather these insights, Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a survey to gather insights from those at the frontline of defence, including, most importantly, company directors.

    The team invites you to participate in this anonymous survey, which will take less than five minutes to complete. 

    The results of the survey will inform a report to be published by Herbert Smith Freehills. In addition to sharing the results of the survey, the analysis will canvass how companies and their directors can prepare for, and mitigate, the risks that are identified as being of most concern.

    How are companies thinking about and preparing for a potential class action?

    Another common perspective shared during “On Just Terms”, was that Australia is increasingly litigious, driven largely by litigation funders and the regulatory environment.

    The survey will look at how the risk of a class action ranks against other risks that are equally on the rise, such as cyber-security and environmental risks, as well as what aspects of a potential class action are of most concern to those facing them.

    “On Just Terms” can be viewed at

    Herbert Smith Freehills will be offering to present to executive teams and boards on the results of the survey and preparedness for class actions. If you are interested in receiving a presentation, please contact Alison Reed.

    *Herbert Smith Freehills is making a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières for each survey that is completed, to recognise the time invested by participants.

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