Mis-sold pension claims solicitors 

Hugh James specialises in acting for clients who have been mis-sold pensions. Many of the clients we act for had been encouraged to move their pension from safe, traditional occupational and/or private pensions into self-invested personal pensions (known as SIPP’s) where the underlying investments are unregulated, high risk and speculative.

For PI and Claims - Mis-sold pensions

Thousands of people across the UK have taken their money out of their pension and invested it self invested pension plans or SIPPs.

 

What is a SIPP?

A SIPP is a pension vehicle. With a SIPP you have more choice and control over what you choose to invest in and you can invest in unregulated products. SIPP’s are designed for people who want to manage their own funds and have more flexibility in respect to switching their investments. SIPP’s have been used as a platform to invest in high-risk funds and illiquid assets which have resulted in financial loss for many of our clients.

 

What is an unregulated investment?

An unregulated investment is an investment that is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Examples of these unregulated investments include:

  • Harlequin property investment
  • The Resort Group
  • Store Pods
  • Sustainable Agroenegy
  • Green Oil
  • Los Pandos Development
  • Global Forestry
  • Ethical Forestry
  • Cape Verde
  • Elysian Fuels
  • Global Cure Environmental Investment
  • Parking investments
  • Australian Farmland

Due to the high risks involved, these investments are usually only suitable for experienced and sophisticated investors; they are not suitable for an ordinary or inexperienced investor.

 

How do I know if I have been mis-sold a pension?

A pension may have been mis-sold to you if one or more of the following statements is true:

  • The risks involved were not properly explained to you;
  • Your personal circumstances were not properly considered by your financial adviser;
  • You were of an age for the transfer and investment to be deemed unsuitable for you;
  • You were not properly advised on how your money would be invested;
  • Your financial adviser did not carry out a ‘fact find’ exercise to establish your financial circumstances and objectives;
  • Your attitude to risk or capacity for risk were not properly considered;
  • You were not provided with any specific advice in respect of the underlying investment.

 

I’ve been mis-sold a pension, what should I do?

Your financial adviser has a duty to check that the proposed investment is sound and that the recommendation to invest is suitable for you. If you believe you have been mis-sold a pension and lost money due to unsuitable advice, you need to act fast. There are strict time limits for bringing a claim.

Hugh James’s expert Financial Mis-Selling team will be able to guide you through the process to recover your money and can represent you on a “no win, no fee” basis. If you have been mis-sold a pension, speak to our expert financial mis-selling solicitors today, to find out how we can help you recover your money.

 

Key contact

Neil Stockdale is a Partner and Head of Group Actions at Hugh James. Neil and his dedicated team of specialist lawyers act on behalf of individuals across the UK in relation to group action cases across a number of sectors including; environmental nuisance and toxic tort cases, claims for property blight and interference relating to highway and airport developments, claims for industrial illness and disease cases including asbestos related illnesses as well as product liability, major accident and disaster cases.

The deadline to join the Berkeley Burke group litigation has now passed.

An application for a group litigation order (GLO) in respect of Berkeley Burke SIPP Litigation has been approved by the High Court.

The High Court has made a Group Litigation Order on 23 January 2018 in relation to a group action to be pursued by individuals who hold Self-Invested Personal Pensions with Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Services Limited.

The group action concerns claims for damages, interest, and costs arising from the establishment and operation of Self-Invested Personal Pension plans.  The court has ordered that any individual who wishes to pursue such a claim can join the group action by being added to the group register of claims.  No claim may be added to the register after 23 July 2018 without the permission of the managing judge.

The court has appointed joint lead solicitors Hugh James and Wixted & Co to manage and coordinate the claims.

The following regulated firms have been identified as firms that made SIPP transfers:

  • 1 Stop Financial Services
  • Phoenix Financial Solutions
  • The Pensions Office
  • Moneywise Financial Advisors
  • MAC Financial Advice LLP also trading as KMA Wealth
  • Demontfort Professional Wealth Management LLP
  • Active Investment Services Limited
  • Douglas Baillie Limited
  • Bankhouse Investment Management Limited

The following are examples of SIPP operators:

  • Berkeley Burke
  • Carey Group
  • Rowanmoor
  • Curtis Banks
  • Guardian Pension Consultants
  • The Lifetime SIPP Company
  • London & Colonial
  • Novia

If you were introduced to the SIPP by a third party introducer that was not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, you may still be able to recover your losses. The following are examples of third party introducers:

  • Jackson Francis
  • CLP Brokers
  • TPS Land
  • PFR Services

How we have helped our clients

Below is some case studies to show how we can help.

Case study - Mr R
 

In 2014 Mr R received advice from a firm called Blueinfinitas Limited to transfer his Scottish Widows pension into a London & Colonial self-invested personal pension (SIPP).

SVS Securities then acted as a linked investment platform and a series of high risk and unregulated investments were made, via the SIPP. Investments which were unsuitable for Mr R given his investment experience and his financial aims and objectives.

As a result, Mr R suffered significant financial loss to his pension pot notably as his Anilana International Developments Plc investment failed and is now valued at zero.

Mr R then contacted Hugh James to investigate a potential claim for him.

We advised Mr R that he had received negligent financial advice and to pursue a claim for compensation. However, Blueinfinitas Limited were no longer trading and unlikely to be able to pay any claim even if successful.  We therefore turned to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (‘FSCS’) which is the UK’s compensation “safety net” for customers of regulated financial businesses and can pay compensation in circumstances where a firm in unable to, subject to certain limits set under its rules.  

The FSCS considered the application we lodged on behalf of Mr R and paid out a total sum of £39,132.24 in compensation, for the losses suffered as a result of Blueinfinitas Limited’s advice.

If you, like Mr R, have suffered a loss having transferred your pension then contact Hugh James’ Financial Mis-Selling Team today, as they may be able to help.

Case study - Mr F
 

In September 2011 Mr F was persuaded by TPS Land, an unregulated company based predominantly in Spain, to transfer his two traditional pensions into a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) with Berkeley Burke. The purpose of establishing the SIPP was to facilitate investment in storage pods owned and operated by Store First Limited.

TPS Land represented to our client that he could expect returns annually of 10-12% of the investment. Mr F relied upon these representations and received no advice from an adviser authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Mr F went on to invest a total sum of £41,250 of his pension pot into Store First Limited. That investment is now, for all intents and purposes, worthless.

Hugh James acted for Mr F and a number of others, in a group action against Berkeley Burke. In July 2019, judgment was entered in the Claimants’ favour and shortly thereafter, Berkeley Burke entered into administration. This meant that Mr F’s claim had to be redirected to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which is the UK’s compensation “safety net” for customers of regulated financial businesses and can pay compensation in circumstances where a firm in unable to, subject to certain limits set under its rules.

The FSCS considered the application we lodged on behalf of Mr F and upheld his claim on the basis that Berkeley Burke failed in its duty to conduct proper due diligence in respect of the investment. The FSCS paid out the total sum of £43,365.27 to account for the loss on the investment and the associated SIPP fees Mr F had paid.

If you, like Mr F, have suffered a loss having transferred your pension then contact Hugh James’ Financial Mis-Selling Team today, as they may be able to help.

 

Testimonials

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Hugh James have been wonderful! Professional, courteous and sympathetic. Over the last 3 years they have made me feel important and that they are working hard on my behalf. Excellent!

Mrs W

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I cannot speak highly enough about the service I have received from Hugh James. It would have been an option to pursue my own claim, but I am so glad I didn't as I am sure that without the knowledge and experience of Neil Stockdale and his very polite and efficient team, I would almost certainly have failed to win my claim. Things were explained to me at every stage of the very long process and I received regular progress updates. When I made calls to check things, the financial mis-selling team were always happy to listen and answer my queries. I would have no hesitation in using Hugh James again in the future and would highly recommend their services.

Peter Foster

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James Coleman and the team dealt with our case for us. We are more than happy with the outcome they achieved. Any questions were answered swiftly and nothing was too much trouble. They kept us informed all the way through and it was worth every penny to give them our stress. We would not hesitate in recommending Hugh James solicitors. Thank you so much again.

Stephen & Glynis Cooper

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Such a relief to have my pension back and with no hassle. James just got on with the paperwork and I had updates as needed. Great service.

Mrs B

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