SIPP  

Court allows appeal against FCA in introducer case

Court allows appeal against FCA in introducer case

The Court of Appeal has granted unregulated introducer Alexandra Associates UK and directors Craig Lummis and Lee Lummis permission to appeal their case against the regulator over the transfer of £92m in pension assets.

Lady Justice Asplin allowed the appeal on two grounds.

One relates to the correct interpretation of the law that governs ‘making of arrangements’ and the other concerns the High Court’s interpretation of ‘independent advice’ and ‘introducing’.

Omid Khub of Zakery Khub Solicitors, who represented the introducer as well as managers Craig and Lee Lummis, said: “Our clients are pleased that the Court of Appeal agrees with us in that there is a real prospect of success in our clients’ appeal on those grounds.  

“The correct interpretation of the law is important for all concerned. We hope that this successful permission to appeal, granted by the Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Asplin, will pave the way for justice for those affected.”

In the judgment handed down in June, the High Court found the activities of unregulated introducers Avacade Limited and Alexandra Associates were unlawful as they had advised on investments, made unapproved financial promotions and made false or misleading statements.

In the pension mis-selling case brought by the FCA, the regulator alleged the firms had provided a pension report service that had crossed into pensions advice.

The firms then promoted self-invested personal pensions and investments in alternative assets such as tree plantations and Brazilian property developments, according to the FCA.

According to the regulator more than 2,000 clients transferred in the region of £91.8m from their pensions into Sipps. 

Avacade entered into creditor's voluntary liquidation in November 2015 and therefore is unable to join the appeal.

In August, the High Court ordered the two unregulated introducers and their managers to pay back £10.7m to clients who were missold pensions.

amy.austin@ft.com

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