Woodford Campaign

ShareSoc invites investors in the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF), the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund (WIFF) and Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc (WPCT) to join the ShareSoc Woodford Campaign.

Many individual investors lost money as a result of the dramatic loss in value of assets within investment vehicles managed by Woodford Investment Management Limited.

ShareSoc is keen to establish whether there is realistic recourse available for affected investors, to ensure that the events which harmed individual investors are properly examined, and to press for changes in regulations and regulatory enforcement that will improve standards and accountability.

We are pleased that several legal initiatives have surfaced with the intention of investigating the matter and of seeking redress.

Campaign members will receive updates from ShareSoc, and can participate in the Campaign Forum to exchange views with other investors.

Membership of ShareSoc’s campaign is not limited to Woodford investors – others who support Campaign objectives 3&4 can join the Campaign. Further details about our campaign are in the sections below:

 

Objectives

Our campaign objectives are:

  1. to facilitate communication between Woodford investors
  2. to help affected Woodford investors seek compensation for their losses where possible
  3. to ensure that those who contributed to those losses through action or inaction are held to account
  4. to bring about changes in the regulations and regulatory enforcement to ensure this type of scandal does not happen again.

Our primary aim is to provide information and facilitate communication in order to assist investors in gaining compensation for losses suffered, where we believe there is a reasonable opportunity for them to do so. This will be how we will measure our success.

ShareSoc also believes that the actions and inactions of those involved in the scandal should be properly examined, and that there should be clear consequences for any failure to exercise proper care in the management and administration of individual investors’ money.

The Woodford scandal also raises questions about consumer education and about the structure of funds holding less liquid assets, how they are marketed, and the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved.

ShareSoc will also be campaigning to change the regulations and/or the way the regulator enforces the regulations, to ensure this type of scandal does not happen again.

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A Note of Caution

Nothing in this campaign (including our endorsement of specific third-party initiatives) constitutes an accusation or assumption of guilt on the part of any person or persons. ShareSoc is not a party to any legal action and does not opine on the merits and viability of any specific claim.

Investors must review the information available and reach their own decisions with regard to any course of action.

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The Leigh Day Group Claim Against Link Asset Services

Sharesoc has been following the development of five legal initiatives of which we are aware. We have elected to endorse the action proposed by Leigh Day, a leading litigation firm.

Leigh Day is pursuing a claim on behalf of individuals who invested in the Woodford Equity Income Fund (“WEIF”).  WEIF was suspended in June 2019, and its winding-up was announced in October 2019.

Leigh Day’s investigations lead it to believe that Link allowed WEIF to hold excessive levels of illiquid or difficult-to-sell investments, and that this caused investors significant loss.  In doing so, they consider Link breached the rules of the FCA Handbook and failed to properly carry out the management function of the Woodford Equity Income Fund.

Leigh Day is accepting clients on a no-win-no-fee basis with each claimant’s contribution to the costs of the litigation being capped at no more than 30% (including VAT) of any compensation received, subject to the 30% being sufficient to repay the funder’s capital outlay and cost of funding. Leigh Day has secured the necessary funding and insurance.

To join the Leigh Day Claim click here. If you join the Leigh Day claim, don’t forget to also join our campaign.

UKSA view: “The UKSA board is strongly supportive of class action of the type proposed by Leigh Day. UKSA’s aims and objectives in supporting the collective action being initiated by Leigh Day and possibly others is to ensure the best possible outcome for all investors who have suffered unnecessary loss as a result of investing in Woodford funds.”

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Why ShareSoc Chose to Endorse the Leigh Day Claim

 We have considered:

  1. the relevant Counsel’s opinion
  2. the status and reputation of the firm
  3. the fact that no payment is required from claimants
  4. the level of the cost cap
  5. the proposed distribution mechanism for distribution of any award.

      We have concluded that it is in the interest of individual investors to join the Leigh Day claim.

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      Claimants Forum

      ShareSoc has set up an exclusive Forum for Leigh Day claimants and potential claimants to exchange views. We will also be inviting lawyers from Leigh Day to provide Q&A and Zoom sessions if appropriate. Join our campaign to access and contribute to the forum.

      Forum discussions will be moderated. Libellous comments, threats, and discussion of privileged matters will not be permitted. Critical opinions are of course to be expected, but we ask contributors to be polite and observe basic courtesies. Comments which fail these tests will be removed.

      This forum is open to all, although you will be required to register as an associate (free) member of ShareSoc to gain access. Once you have joined ShareSoc, you will have to login to your ShareSoc account (the button is on the top right of screen) to access the Forum.

      ShareSoc will receive a retainer from Leigh Day for providing the Forum and other advice/assistance.

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      How to Assist in the Campaign

      The ShareSoc Woodford Campaign is led by Cliff Weight. We urge anyone who would like to assist in the Campaign to get in touch initially via an email to  info@ShareSoc.org noting any particular interests and skills you have.

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      Eligibility to join the Leigh Day Group Claim

      Leigh Day are currently only able to bring claims on behalf of those who invested directly in WEIF and were affected by the fund’s suspension. In other words, investors in WEIF, who had money locked in the fund when it was suspended, will be able to instruct them to pursue a claim against Link for compensation. This includes those who used a platform to buy shares in the fund.

      If you invested in a fund which in turn invested in WEIF (e.g. the HL Multi-Manager Income & Growth Fund), unfortunately, Leigh Day are currently unable to assist you with a claim in respect of those shares. They are still investigating how they can assist these investors.

      If you have suffered loss as a result of investing in WEIF, please feel free to complete the sign-up form to join the group claim.

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      Background and Press Coverage

      – 24 Oct 2020 https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-8875019/Were-going-court-say-lawyers-Neil-Woodford-fight.html (if you only click one link – click this one)
      – 4 Nov 2020 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/funds/woodford-investors-go-1000-days-without-justice-lawyers-set/
      – 20 Nov 2019 https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/pe-will-eat-itself/
      – 26 Oct 2019 https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/woodford-fund-and-trust-news/
      – 22 Oct 2019 https://www.sharesoc.org/media-mention/telegraph-22-october-2019-fca-not-reviewing-their-handling-of-woodford/
      – 18 Oct 2019 https://www.sharesoc.org/media-mention/financial-times-18-october-2019-angry-investors-count-the-cost-of-woodford-collapse/
      – 14 Dec 2019 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7792031/Investors-Neil-Woodfords-fund-told-theyve-lost-fifth-money.html
      – 25 June 2019 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/fca-neil-woodford-fund-andrew-bailey-treasury-commitee-ucits-a8973831.html

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      Join the ShareSoc Woodford Campaign

      To join the Woodford Campaign, please complete the form below.

      Your personal data will be held securely and confidentially, in accordance with our privacy policy. When you join the campaign, you will be registered as a member of ShareSoc, if you are not already a member. You can choose to join as or remain an associate member free of charge.

      We would, of course, prefer that you join and support ShareSoc as a full member for only £45 a year and would be most grateful if you selected that option when joining our campaign. Details of full member benefits can be found here.

      ShareSoc is a not-for-profit organisation with a Board of Directors who are all unpaid, working to improve the rights of retail shareholders. We engage with companies, regulators, and the Government with this objective.

      If you wish to make a one-off voluntary contribution to support the activities of ShareSoc please go to this page of our web site: Donations. 

      Cliff Weight – ShareSoc Woodford Campaign Leader