Federal Court throws out application to prevent ASIC investigation

The Federal Court has dismissed an application by Provide Nominees Pty Ltd (Provide Capital) to prevent ASIC’s further investigation of the entity.

Justice Rofe agreed with ASIC’s submission that Provide Capital’s application had no prospects of success.

Provide Capital’s application alleged that ASIC did not have the state of mind required to conduct an investigation under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act). Her Honour found that Provide’s argument was ‘illogical and therefore that Provide Capital’s application had no reasonable prospect of success’.

As part of the proceeding, Provide Capital issued a notice to ASIC requesting documents relating to its investigation. Justice Rofe noted in her judgment that, while she did not need to decide on the notice due to the dismissal, ‘if I were required to reach a conclusion, I would have set the notice aside on the basis that it is fairly characterised as “fishing” or “trawling” for documents’.

Justice Rofe also ordered that Provide Capital pay ASIC’s costs.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo said, ‘The outcome in this case demonstrates ASIC’s commitment to taking action to prevent its investigations being delayed by baseless challenges to its powers’.

Last month ASIC also successfully defended an appeal in the Full Federal Court, in relation to order made by Justice O’Bryan regarding Provide Nominees failing to respond to a request by ASIC to produce documents (24-047MR).

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