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Cofunds complications and PI problems: week in news

If this article came with sound effects, we would be playing the sad trombone music at this point.

4) Taking the PI

Planned rules designed to cut advisers' compensation bill by making it easier to bring financial claims against insolvent advice firms could be undermined by professional indemnity insurance clauses, experts have warned this week.

The FCA plans to force advisers' professional indemnity insurers to allow claims against a defaulted firm's insurance over concerns some insurers are using exclusions that mean the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is unable to bring a claim on the policy.

But Jonathan Corman, a partner at Fenchurch Law who specialises in insurance disputes, said such insolvency clauses are mainly used by a small group of already high-charging professional indemnity firms that target more risky advisers, businesses that would otherwise struggle to find cover at all.

5) Poorly advised

A judge has ordered Phones4U founder John Caudwell to pay £471,000 to his former financial adviser.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who sold his mobile phone company for £1.5bn in 2006, was sued by Nathalie Dauriac, the former chief executive of wealth management company Signia Wealth.

The High Court case focused on her allegations Mr Caudwell orchestrated a campaign to oust her from Signia and to expropriate shares at a low value.

While the High Court dismissed a number of her claims against Mr Caudwell, it told him to pay her £471,000 for the value of her shares allocated by Signia.

Mr Caudwell denied this and said Ms Dauriac was suspended in late 2014 after an investigation into her work expenses, with the probe finding claims for a flight to Málaga for a friend’s birthday and a birthday cake for her ex-husband.

Mr Justice Smith that when it came to some of Ms Dauriac's expense claims there was "quite simply, no explanation consistent with honesty" and he was sure she deliberately made claims she knew were not proper.

As if often the case with legal disputes, no one comes out of this tale particularly well.