Pogust Goodhead to open in Sydney amid multi-billion-dollar BHP class action claim

Class action specialist Pogust Goodhead is opening an office in Sydney as the firm looks to step up the pressure on Australian mining giant BHP, which it is pursuing a multi-billion dollar class action claim against.

Pogust Goodhead is leading a $70bn class action against BHP over the 2015 Samarco dam disaster in Brazil, which killed 19 people and flooded and destroyed entire villages with a deluge of toxic waste. The firm said the new Sydney office will serve as a local base to launch claims against Australian companies that are failing to meet their social and environmental obligations.

Tom Goodhead, global managing partner of Pogust Goodhead, said: “We are establishing a base in BHP’s backyard to ensure we explore every avenue in our fight for justice for the victims of one the world’s worst environmental disasters.

“The mining sector in Australia plays a vital role in ensuring the availability of increasingly important rare and critical minerals, which makes it a major driver of economic growth and wellbeing. However, with this enormous wealth and influence comes a responsibility to the communities in which they operate – a responsibility premised on basic decency and fairness.”

The Sydney office will be led by partner and Australia head Amie Crichton alongside partner Joshua Carton. Crichton arrives at Pogust Goodhead having spent the past six years running her own firm, Crichton & Co. Prior to that she spent eight years at Norton Rose Fulbright in Sydney, latterly as a special counsel. Carton, a commercial litigator and class action specialist, moves over with Crichton from Crichton & Co, which he joined back in 2021.

Crichton said: “Pogust Goodhead’s arrival in Australia is more than just another player in the legal field. What sets the firm apart is its global reputation and extensive network. In bringing their resources, knowledge and invaluable strategic partnerships to Australian shores, the firm is empowering individuals to seek justice on an unprecedented scale.”

The multi-billion dollar BHP class action is due to go to trial in London in October, though Goodhead already has his sights set on other potential cases.

“We are investigating a number of new cases against Australian multinational corporations, such as BHP, in which their commitment to [the communities they operate in] has been seriously thrown into question. With the launch of our Sydney office, we are putting Australian corporations on notice that we are ready to hold them to account.”

Last month, HFW added a four-lawyer disputes team from Clyde & Co in Australia, including partner Maurice Thompson who will lead the firm’s global litigation funding team.

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