Law firms Leigh Day and Harcus Parker have teamed up to seek justice for thousands of investors who lost money through the alleged mismanagement of the Woodford Equity Income Fund.
The law firms will today (15 June) file a joint application at the High Court for a group litigation order against Link Fund Solutions which managed the fund.
The application details the claimants’ allegations against Link.
The hearing of the application will be the first time Link or any other party appears in court in connection with the collapse of the fund.
It is anticipated that the application will be heard in the High Court over two days in October.
Going forward, the collaboration will mean that Leigh Day and Harcus Parker share resources.
This, the firms said, will avoid duplication and aims to meet the court’s overriding objective of dealing with cases proportionately in a way that saves expense.
The court can appoint lead solicitors to manage the claims and it is proposed that this will be Leigh Day and Harcus Parker.
Link has denied that it breached any of the relevant rules and denies it has any liability to the Woodford investors.
Leigh Day started court proceedings against Link in September last year, when it issued a claim form on behalf of an initial group of 100 investors to begin the action to recover their losses.
Who’s to blame for the Woodford debacle?
Leigh Day solicitor Meriel Hodgson-Teall said: “Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people have lost significant amounts of their life savings investing in this fund. We contend this is a direct result of Link’s mismanagement.
“Leigh Day is seeking redress for these investors, drawing on our strong track record of securing justice for individuals who have been wronged by large corporations.
“Collaborating with Harcus Parker is the most effective and efficient way of securing justice and, by joining forces, we expect this will become the largest group claim on behalf of individual investors ever brought before the UK courts.”
She told Money Marketing the firm has been working with Harcus Parker since late summer last year.
“We wanted to make sure we were all pulling in same direction and present a unified front against the defendant,” she added.
The two law firms will work together to ensure costs are spread evenly between claimants, and cases are handled in a consistent way.
“Both firms have spent a lot of time investigating these claims,” said Hodgson-Teall. “We feel we have a really strong case to bring against the defendant.”
To date Leigh Day has issued claims for over 1,000 clients, and will be issuing further claims as soon as they have completed a review of other clients’ documents to establish their eligibility to join the claim.
Harcus Parker has issued a claim for 1,500 people and will add more claimants in batches in the near future.
Leigh Day and Harcus Parker are continuing to receive new instructions from investors who have lost out as a result of their investment in WEIF on a daily basis.
It is understood that up to 300,000 investors may have been affected by the fund’s collapse.
Daniel Kerrigan, senior associate at Harcus Parker, said: “We are pleased to be presenting a unified front on behalf of the claimants and we look forward to working with Leigh Day to deliver justice for our clients.
“We know that investors have been waiting for far too long for compensation and we are confident that working together we will deliver a positive resolution for our clients as soon as possible, starting with the first court hearing in this case in the Autumn.
“We invite all investors who have not signed up to the claim to do so.”