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Storm litigator rejects ASIC ‘limited resources’

A class action lawyer representing a number of aggrieved Storm Financial investors has rejected ASIC’s claim of “limited resources” and accused the corporate regulator of being driven by ‘ego’.

Responding to ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft’s evidence before a senate committee hearing last week, at which Mr Medcraft argued the regulatory body suffers from a lack of adequate resources, Levitt Robinson principal Stuart Levitt told ifa that the corporate regulator spends vast sums on legal fees.

“They don’t have limited resources,” Mr Levitt said. “You should see the amount of money they dedicated trying to scuttle the Macquarie settlement because they’ve got ego issues.”

While a settlement has been reached in one of the litigation matters in which Mr Levitt acts, the corporate regulator continues “trying to put a spanner in the works”, the litigator alleged.

“They are still trying to make objections to a freely negotiated deal between group members and the bank,” he said. “Why do they get involved with these things if they have limited resources when they fail to investigate so many matters of national importance?”

Mr Levitt’s comments come after his submission of recommendations on the performance of ASIC was sent to the senate committee secretariat on October 29.

In the document, Mr Levitt recommends that ASIC be excluded from the role of negotiating compensation for victims of malpractice in the financial services industry and from intervening in civil litigation between parties who have independent legal representation.

In addition, Nationals Senator John Williams made comments to ifa last week questioning ASIC’s role in seeking settlements for aggrieved investors.