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ISA and FSC headed for legal showdown

The Financial Services Council has initiated court proceedings to dispute the process for selecting default funds, with Industry Super Australia acting as defendant.

Yesterday, the financial services lobby group lodged an application for relief in the Federal Court of Australia to challenge the validity of the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC's) procedure for the selection of default super funds in modern awards.

ISA has been named as first respondent and will oppose the FSC’s application and defend the FWC’s role in the MySuper selection process, indicating that the war of words between the two organisations over recent weeks will now be heard by the Federal Court.

“We are seeking a hearing from the full Federal Court to ensure that any uncertainty on the validity of the Expert Panel will be clarified once and for all,” said FSC chief executive John Brogden.

An affidavit issued by Ashurst lawyer Stephen Woodbury in support of the FSC’s application explains that it is the “applicant’s contention that the reconstituted Expert Panel is not constituted as required by the provisions of the [Fair Work Act]”.

A letter from ISA’s lawyer, Heidi Fairhall of Holding Redlich, explains that the industry funds lobbyist “advised [the FSC] that it did not object to being named as the first respondent in these proceedings”.

The hearing is set for May 9.