Woman entitled to pursue claim against financial adviser

A woman has been given permission by the High Court to pursue a professional negligence claim against a financial adviser even though the complaint was about events that happened 15 years ago.

The woman had sought help from the financial adviser in 2001 when she was 80 years old. She lived overseas but had UK investments and wished to reduce the inheritance tax liability for her family after she died.

The financial adviser recommended converting the portfolio into a loan trust scheme, which she did. Her capital eroded, the bonds diminished, and she was locked into the scheme.

In February 2012, she instructed an independent expert to review her financial affairs and he reported that her portfolio could and should have been invested in a more beneficial way in 2001.

On 10 December 2014, she issued a claim alleging that she had not been properly advised about the charges associated with the loan trust scheme, and that a reasonably competent adviser would have known that there were more cost-effective and flexible investments which were better suited to her circumstances.

The adviser argued that the claim was statute-barred because the woman had left it too late to bring a claim about advice given so long ago.

The woman asserted that February 2012 was the first time she had had knowledge of the negligent advice being the cause of her losses and so she could not have brought a claim before then.

The court ruled in her favour. The judge said that it was not fanciful for the woman to claim that while she had known for some time that the portfolio was not performing well, it was not until 2012 that she became aware that there had been alternative schemes that might have produced better results.

There was no reason for her not to pursue her claim, even though it related to advice given 15 years ago.

Please contact us about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to wills, trusts and inheritance.

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