Pension Claim Experts
Self-Invested Personal Pensions
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SIPPs is an acronym for Self-Invested Personal Pensions.
SIPPs are pension plans that enable the holder to choose and manage the investments made from the SIPP. Often people transfer their private or occupational pension scheme into a SIPP in an attempt to try and gain a better return on their investment.
Unfortunately, some SIPPs have been subject to alleged negligence and misuse by either the SIPP trustees and/or a regulated adviser or Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) and/or a Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM).
Since 2009 a number of investment schemes that relied upon SIPP-funded investments have failed or struggled resulting in investors suffering losses.
Investors who have or are worried about suffering loss should make a claim as a matter of urgency as there are two-time limits in place:
- 6 year transactional limitation period – as many SIPPs were created between 2011 and 2013 claims need to be placed before they fall out of time on the 6-year rule.
- 3-year date of knowledge period – based on when you knew that you had suffered a loss. This is highly contentious and is an area often used as an argument to defend a claim e.g. the defence is that you are “out of time” to bring a claim as you were aware the loss had been suffered more than 3 years ago.
There are currently a number of actions going via the Courts for two main allegations against SIPP Administrators. There have also been successful claims against IFA’s in respect of the advice given to transfer their pension into a SIPP and consequently invest in mainly unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS).
You can make a claim directly to the parties to blame, via various Ombudsman if necessary, or we can recommend solicitors who specialise in SIPPs and will be able to advise and guide you on your options.
My Legal Club has a strict code of standards for customer care and support and all solicitors recommended have agreed to abide by this code of standards.
Examples of Sipps which have failed and the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) are receiving claims for include (but are not limited to):
- Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Ltd
- Liberty SIPP Limited t/a Liberty Pensions
- Pointon York
- GPC SIPP
- Brooklands Trustees
- Stadia Trustees
- Montpelier Pension Administration Services
If you have suffered at the hands of a SIPP, whether listed above or not, you can request a FREE consultation here with one of our experts.
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SIPPS | Specialist Solicitors
Many solicitors are advertising for financial mis-selling work. With reforms in personal injury claims by the government over the last decade, and many more reforms to come in 2020, many solicitors are turning to new areas of claim.
This does not necessarily mean they have experience in the areas of claim they are now pursuing.
We launched a twitter poll asking participants what their biggest consideration was when selecting a solicitor. Over 90% of participants in the poll voted in favour of a recommendation / recommended solicitor being the most important consideration.
We have been asked for quotes in the press on financial mis-selling matters, as with the administration of Berkeley Burke in an article written by Michael Klimes of Money Marketing you can access here.
We have cherry picked highly recommended specialist solicitors in every area of law and secured unique savings against legal fees for our members.
Our panel solicitors are expert, experienced, recommended specialists in financial mis-selling.
Our panel solicitors are committed to keeping to agreements, ensuring delays are kept to a minimum, and maintaining strong lines of communication.
Examples Of SIPP Claims
Investors are currently pursuing claims against either IFA’s, SIPP’s and on occasion both the IFA and the SIPP.
Claims against IFA’s focus upon the suitability of the advice provided by the IFA. There are extensive rules any IFA must comply with when advising on a pension transfer.
Claims against SIPP’s focus on two key areas.
Firstly, the due diligence the SIPP performed in respect of the investments available in the SIPP amongst many other duties and obligations.
Secondly, the use of non-regulated introducers when securing new clients. Examples of this include cold-calling and free pension review surveys.
Often investment losses are due to:
- poor or misleading advice
- negligent management of investments
- fraud or misrepresentation
- high percentage, or all, of the capital available invested in one high risk scheme
Examples of investments which have often led to claims being made include:
- off plan properties
- store pods
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We have cherry picked highly recommended specialist solicitors in every area of law and secured unique savings against legal fees.
Our panel solicitors are expert, experienced, recommended specialists in this area.
Our panel solicitors are committed to keeping to agreements, ensuring delays are kept to a minimum, and maintaining strong lines of communication.
Examples Of Failed Investments
The most common financial mis-selling scandals in the past decade relate to capital being raised via a remortgage, or pension transfer in to a SIPP, which is then invested in one investment (usually abroad).
Some examples of failed investments, and firms placed in default by the FSCS, include:
- Harlequin Properties
- Ocean View Properties
- Brooklands Trust
- Green Oil Plantations
- Sustainable AgroEnergy
- Global Forestry Investments
- Investments linked to GPC SIPP Ltd
- Investments linked to Omega Financial Services
- Luddington Broze Limited
- Leech & Burgess IFA
- Westbury Capital Partners
- Breterac Limited
If your investment is giving you grounds for concern, not meeting returns and/or is failing to communicate with you we would recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible.
Claims can be time-barred if you do not bring them in time.
This is why it is such a complex and crucial consideration in any claim.
It is important to note that if you pursue a claim via the Financial Ombudsman (FOS) you will not “stop the clock” in respect of time-limits in respect of any future action you wish to pursue via the courts.
e.g. if you do not succeed in a claim against the FOS and want to pursue a claim in the Courts then you may be time-barred from claiming as a result of not protecting your limitation period for a court action.
We would recommend securing legal advice as soon as possible prior to deciding how you want to make any financial claim.
This also provides you with the best chance of ensuring your claim is within the time limits which apply.
This can be a very complex area but generally 3 time-limits apply:
- The 6-year rule
- The 3-year rule
- The 15-year rule
The 6-year rule generally means 6 years from the advice/action you are complaining about. e.g. 6 years from the date of the advice from an IFA, or 6 years from signing a pension transfer form, or 6 years from signing a loan agreement.
If your claim is more than 6 years ago you can still rely upon the 3-year rule. The 3-year rule is often debated and disputed between the parties. The 3-year rule refers to 3 years from the date you first became aware (or should have become aware) of the problem which you are complaining about.
As an example, you may have a complaint regarding a matter which took place 10 years ago (over 6 years) but where the loss only became apparent within the last 2 years.
This is an example of where the 3-year rule would apply.
The 15-year rule means actions alleging negligence must be made within a maximum period 15 years from the negligent act or omission.
There can be exceptions as the FCA have stated they may allow certain cases to be handled outside of the 15-year time limit. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) have stated that time-limits can be disregarded when it is appropriate to do so.
Selecting The Correct Party To Blame
It is vital you select the correct people to blame for your loss. We would reference these parties as defendants.
Each time-limit applies to each defendant and they are under no obligation to point you in the right direction.
As an example, you may complain to the lender when in fact the IFA is to blame, or vice versa. We have seen cases where there are multiple parties to investigate, such as, an investment company, a SIPP, an IFA, and a conveyancing solicitor.
If you are inside the 6 year rule a sensible suggestion is to agree standstill agreements with each potential party involved to protect the 6-year time-limit.
A standstill agreement would need to be drafted by a solicitor and would provide you with the benefit of being able to pursue one party and potentially return to another party later without time-barring occurring. (subject to the terms of the standstill agreement of course)
How To Start A Claim
You can start a claim via either:
- Making a formal complaint to the party/parties you hold responsible
- Instructing a solicitor to send a letter of complaint
- Sending a letter of claim, suggesting mediation, and if necessary issuing court proceedings.
Where a party regulated by the FCA rejects your complaint, and the matter to which you are complaining is covered by an ombudsman, you can pursue the complaint via the ombudsman yourself if you wish.
You can also instruct a solicitor to send the formal complaint and they will then represent you with any relevant ombudsman.
Another option is to instruct a solicitor who may decide the best course of action is to send a formal letter of claim, rather than proceed with a process going via an ombudsman, and to pursue a mediation and court proceedings if necessary.
The decision comes down to what type of matter the claim relates to and how you feel about the various options.
There are lots of positives and negatives to each course of action.
In any area of financial mis-selling (not limited to but including pay day loans, SIPP’s, investment loss, mortgage breach, Consumer Credit Act) you are able to claim, without any fee being charged, against the regulated party directly AND if necessary via the appropriate Statutory Ombudsman or Statutory Compensation Scheme, e.g. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and where appropriate The Pension Ombudsman and/or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
There is no reason why you would achieve a different/better result by instructing a solicitor or claims management company. If you choose to instruct us to assist you with a financial mis-selling claim you confirm that you accept and understand the above.
More information on no win no fee claims can be found here.
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