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EUFA's guest inspires minister

An Australian consumer advocate, brought to New Zealand by EUFA, has provided the Commerce Minister with some ideas for better investor protection.

Thursday, June 12th 2008, 6:51AM
An Australian model for funding legal claims by investors in failed finance companies is one of several that has caught the interest of Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel.

The idea comes from Denise Brailey who works for IMF (Australia) , a publicly listed company that provides money for legal action in cases involving large scale commercial litigation or multi-party actions where the claim size is over A$2 million. Brailey has been brought to New Zealand this week by the Exposing Unacceptable Financial Actions (EUFA) and is speaking to investors throughout the country.

Dalziel has also received suggestions by advocates for Blue Chip investors, including lawyer Paul Dale who wants to see a 'designated co-ordinator' for Blue Chip investors seeking legal aid.

IMF only funds legal action, it does not provide legal advice of any sort.

"I'm very interested in helping investors find ways and means to access legal advice, especially where a finance or property investment company failure may be due to illegal behaviour by directors, or where people invested as a result of shonky advice," Dalziel says.

"It seems that lack of funding for legal action is one of the biggest barriers to investors getting their day in court as many do not qualify for legal aid, despite having lost considerable sums of money and, in some cases, their life savings or their homes.

"Brailey's company provides an interesting model and I'm interested in finding out more about it."

Lianne Dalziel said Brailey had a reputation as a passionate and successful consumer advocate for victims of property or financial advice fraud.

"I'm interested in learning more about the cases Brailey has been involved in and to see if there is anything we in New Zealand can learn from her experience," Dalziel said.

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