Fraud & Access to Justice Seminar
SME Alliance, 5th June 2015
It was a pleasure to organise and host SME Alliances summer seminar.
Membership of this group is diverse in geography and industry type but the one common issue that strikes to the heart of why the group came about is the wrongdoings in the financial services industry.
At times the audience was emotional and on occasion missing the point of the seminar; how to access the system to recover money.
Many victims accuse many financial service providers of committing fraud, but what exactly is fraud and how do you bring a perpetrator to account for any fraudulent wrong doings?
The panel we had invited was ideal to detail these matters and in order of speaking each one detailed their own expertise to an audience of victims, group action heads, insolvency practitioners, solicitors and other professionals.
Frances Coulson from Moon Beever detailed the wide scope of fraud and the difficulties in being able to prove through litigation recovery for money. At the cutting edge of the subject matter Frances brings a wealth of expertise and specialist insolvency insight. http://www.moonbeever.com/
Anthony Maton from Hausfeld used examples of previous success to detail how known issues such as Libor fraud can bring defendants to settle when faced with costly and reputational damages of facing a trial through court. Hausfeld also touched upon changes afoot in the legal industry where grouped actions will inevitably allow victims to act as one against companies who have breach anti-competition laws. Specialist in litigation solutions, Hausfeld are leaders in the UK for bringing about litigation for fraud in the financial services sector.http://www.hausfeld.com/contact/london
Abhishek Sachdev from Vedanta detailed that as an Expert Witness the importance of analysing the wrong doings and their effect allows a legal team to bring evidence to the case in support of any viable case. Vedanta Hedging work as specialists in financial services contracts for Derivatives and FX.http://www.vedantahedging.com/
Karen Edwards from Menzies Forensics made the important point that any losses incurred as a result of fraud need to be evidenced. The losses that stem from being defrauded have to meet the ‘but for’ rules and be reasonably foreseeable. Menzies work with experts and lawyers to bring about the loss quantum and evidence required to meet the required rules for any litigation.http://www.menzies.co.uk/en/services/forensic-services/
Michael Lent at Annecto Legal was able to highlight how litigation funding works for claimants who can-not fund their own cases and how insurance, ATE, may be needed to ensure any claims are not struck out by defendants detailing no adverse cost being covered. Traditional costed funding requires a funder to achieve a 200% - 300% return on money loaned but Annecto detailed how new funding partnerships can allow a more reasonable return if claims are grouped or in the case of insolvent cases the action is bought about under LASPO carve out provisions. http://www.annectolegal.co.uk/
Simon Stafford Michael from 1 Pump Court finished the speakers session with an excellent summary of the other speakers roles and how, as a Barrister, he perceived the necessity to plea a fraud should it be presented and instructed to Opine on. Having reviewed a number of files in the arena of Derivative misselling with Insolvency Assist, Simon detailed how 1 Pump Court as a Chamber of Barristers was now able to advise that the reckless behaviour of some banks could now allow a positive action for grouped claimants to Plea fraud. http://www.1pumpcourt.co.uk/
Q & A session the questions and answer session proved extremely useful. The attendees were able to pose questions direct to the panel who’s responses were indeed first class.
So what now ?
It is apparent that to currently access the justice system to pursue a fraud case you have to prove a strong case with evidence that can-not be questioned with a quantum of claim to allow financial feasibility to bring about any litigation. This is why so many lawyers and CMC’s steer clear of pleading fraud. It is of course essential that all legal issues are explored in full alongside any fraud but we need to recognise and understand how the legal system works.
SME Alliance are working with a number of professionals who will in the near future be releasing revolutionary new opportunities to have ‘grouped’ litigation actions assessed and established if viable.
Being part of the Alliance allows you a voice.
Being part of the Alliance will now allow you access to building your claim or start a group claim.
The speakers were all part of a combination of service providers working on irhp misselling chaired by Redress Services, of which I am a Director, who form a Steering Committee of leading law firms and professionals to share insight with a view to bringing about group actions.
Members of SME Alliance will be able to view the Seminar on-line in due course and obtain further details of group litigation schemes and how to set them up.
Director Insolvency Assist CIC
Director Redress Services Ltd