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Berkeley Burke ruling questions Ombudsman decisions

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A High Court decision in the Berkeley Burke case has opened the possibility that the Pensions Ombudsman Service (POS) has made legally incorrect decisions in previous cases. This could mean that pension scam victims have been denied thousands in compensation.

The Berkeley case

Our client Mr Richardson’s case was referenced in the Berkeley Burke Judicial Review last month. He lost £30,000 after investing into Green Oil Australia. This was through the Carey Pensions Sipp.

In 2015, Mr Richardson brought his case to the POS after it was declined by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stated that Sipp providers monitor and bear responsibility for the quality and type of business introduced to clients. However the FOS ruled that this did not apply in Mr Richardson’s case. This is because Carey Pensions followed industry practice despite only carrying out basic checks on the investment.

The judge in the Berkeley Burke Judicial Review commented that good practice is not the same as common practice. This opens the floodgate to hundreds of others who might have lost out on compensation they deserve due to the POS mis-interpreting FCA guidance.

Mr Richardson’s case is now being heard by the Courts. We are arguing to overturn the POS decision.

Our thoughts

Our expert Glyn Taylor said: “We’re pleased that the judge has supported our view that the POS case was wrongly decided. If it went before FOS today he would have won.

“POS made a factual finding that was legally unsound. Mr Richardson’s investment was high risk and not suitable a for a retail investor. It was also an unusual holding that was new and untested. This should have flagged concern as to whether it was an investment that was appropriate for any Sipp.”

Following the decision in the Berkeley Burke Judicial Review, we will continue to pursue Mr Richardson’s case in the Courts with its legal argument bolstered.

Glyn added: “We welcome the clarity provided by the Berkeley Burke Judicial Review and are are confident that a Court will find Mr Richardson was failed by Carey Pensions.

“We’re concerned that thousands of others who have had claims rejected by the POS could also have been let down by the Ombudsman, wrongly losing out on huge sums in compensation in the process.”

Get in touch to find out if you could be owed thousands more on your pension mis-selling case.