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Bridge McFarland can offer you practical, uncomplicated advice, support & guidance when you need it most. Whether it be an employment dispute, family advice, an accident or negligence, life planning or moving house, let us help you.
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Our commercial team in Lincoln, Hull, Market Rasen and Grimsby prides itself on its sound business sense, commercial insight, local knowledge and first class understanding of the relevant legal disciplines ranging from employment law, business contracts, dispute resolution to agriculture and property development. From company formation to sale, succession, dissolution or dispute resolution, you can trust our team to deliver first class service and results.
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SIPP and Pension Claims

If you have received bad advice from a financial advisor which has led to the loss of some or all of your pension savings, our specialist professional negligence lawyers can help you to make a claim.

SIPP and Pensions Claims
Home » Personal Law » Professional Negligence » SIPP and Pension Claims
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We can offer support and advice if you have been let down by a financial advisor.

A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a flexible way to invest pension funds and plan for your retirement. It should allow you the freedom to choose your own investments and the convenience of having a number of pensions in one pot. Unfortunately some financial advisors have provided negligent advice and recommended investments that are high risk or unsuitable, earning themselves high fees and commission. Due to pension funds being moved away from the safer occupational, final salary or defined benefit pension schemes and into high-risk and illiquid investments, often investments have been completely lost.

Some such examples of high risk investments include:

  • Storage pods
  • Airport car parking spaces
  • Tree harvesting
  • Australian farmland
  • Green Oil and Biofuels
  • Carbon Credits
  • Overseas properties and hotel resorts
  • Loan notes
  • Death Bonds

If you think you have a claim then our specialist lawyers can investigate your case and pursue any claim for losses against the IFA and/or SIPP provider with the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Some examples of bad advice include:

  • Unsuitable advice for your circumstances
  • Advice to invest in high-risk, speculative and illiquid investments, such as off plan property, store pods, bio fuels, overseas property and hotel resorts
  • Unexplained fees or risks
  • Advice to transfer funds away from occupational, final salary or defined benefit pension schemes

Typically compensation awards aim to put you back in the position that you would have been in, had it not been for the negligent advice. Claims are usually made for:

  • Loss of pension / pension growth
  • IFA and SIPP fees
  • Stress and inconvenience

Usually financial advisors have insurance in place to cover claims against them but it is also possible to claim if the IFA is no longer trading or “in default” by presenting a claim to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Our solicitors have a wealth of experience and a proven track record in this complex area of law, in particular with high-value claims.

We can offer flexible funding arrangements including “no-win no-fee” where appropriate, with no up-front fees and nothing to pay if your claim is unsuccessful.

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FAQs
What is professional negligence?
Professional negligence is where a professional fails to perform his responsibilities to the required standard. For businesses, this is most commonly where a professional advisor, such as a solicitor, accountant or surveyor, gives incorrect or incomplete advice or fails to act, for instance by missing a deadline.
Who can a claim be brought against?
A claim for professional negligence can brought against any professional advisor but most the most common are claims against solicitors, barristers, conveyancers, surveyors, valuers, architects, builders, accountants, engineers, financial advisors, insurance brokers, will writers and local authorities. In many cases, professional advisors will have professional indemnity insurance to cover such claims, even if they are no longer trading (known as “run off cover”).
Do we have a claim for professional negligence?
Negligence is more than just poor service by a professional advisor. In order for a claim to succeed it is necessary to show that the professional owed a duty of care, that they breached that duty and that this caused a loss. A professional advisor will usually owe their client a duty of care. The standard required of a professional is not one of perfection and the mere fact of an error does not necessarily constitute negligence. A professional will only breach their duty of care by making an error which no reasonable member of their profession, in their circumstances, would have made. Even then, a professional may have acted negligently, but a claim will only succeed if their actions or advice caused the loss suffered by the business. For issues of poor service, most professional advisors will have their own complaints procedure or a complaint can be referred to a professional or trade body, such as the Legal Ombudsman for solicitors or barristers, the ICAEW for accountants or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for surveyors.
What can I do about poor service by a Professional Advisor?
Most professional advisors will have their own complaints procedure or a complaint can be referred to a professional or trade body, such as the Legal Ombudsman for solicitors or barristers, the ICAEW for accountants or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for surveyors.
How is my claim assessed?
We will start by taking your detailed instructions about the case, usually either by meeting with you or by phone. We will also talk to you about funding options and agree how the claim (or at least the first stages of work) will be funded. It will often then be necessary for us to obtain and review any files or other relevant documents held by your professional advisor. It may also be necessary for us to obtain evidence from an expert (such as an accountant, surveyor or a medical expert) to assess the value of your claim. We will then be in a position to advise you on the merits of your claim and to agree a case plan.
Will I have to pay anything/what will it cost?
We will talk to you about costs at the outset and carry out a full risk assessment. In appropriate cases, professional negligence claims can be funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) (also known as a “no win, no fee” agreement). What this means is that you do not pay anything to us unless your claim is successful. If your claim is successful, most (but not all) of our costs are usually recoverable from the other side. Any shortfall and our “success fee” (an agreed percentage uplift) are deducted from your damages (up to an agreed cap). You can also take out after-the-event” or “ATE” legal expenses insurance against the risk of having to pay costs to the other side (and your own expenses) if your claim is unsuccessful and disbursement funding for expenses such as court fees and expert’s fees. Other flexible funding options are also available.
How much can I claim?
Damages can be claimed as compensation for any loss resulting from the negligent actions or advice. Damages for professional negligence are intended to put you in the position you would have been but for the negligence. This is found by comparing what your position would have been if there had been no negligence and your actual position. This can include any financial loss (including lost profit or additional costs), a reduction in value of property or other assets and, in some cases, damages for physical or psychological harm.