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IOOF to shoulder up to A$80M loss after trashed bid

IOOF Holdings Ltd. and its insurers face up to A$80 million in losses after the New South Wales Supreme Court dismissed a bid that blames the company's former law firm Sparke Helmore over its responsibilities in a collapsed agribusiness investment scheme, The Australian Financial Review reported Sept. 28.

Justice James Stevenson ruled that the Australian Executor Trustees, which was the scheme's trustee, "acted in breach of its duty as trustee, including its duty to vindicate and protect [the] trust property." Stevenson added that the advice the law firm gave the trustee was inadequate and "was not advice that any reasonable trustee would have relied on."

Australian Executor Trustees had agreed to sell the assets of the failed investment scheme even though the decision would result in investors not receiving payment because of the fund manager's debt to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. Gunns, the investment manager, entered into receivership in 2012.