Press Release 121:
Woodford compensation a step closer as legal claims merge

  • Applying for a Group Litigation Order (GLO) is a major step forward in seeking compensation for those who lost money investing in Woodford Equity Income Fund
  • Up to £1billion was lost by individual investors
  • Deadline for investors in WEIF to join a legal claim is getting closer

Law firms Leigh Day and Harcus Parker have announced that they will merge their legal actions, both of which target Link Fund Solutions as Authorised Corporate Director in the failed Woodford Equity Income Fund. The firms have requested that the High Court issue a Group Litigation Order (GLO).

The firms have requested that the Court set a deadline of six months from the date of the GLO (Group Litigation Order) to allow more people to register. Link’s solicitors are understood to be opposing this and seeking an earlier deadline.

ShareSoc is delighted that Leigh Day and Harcus Parker are now collaborating in this litigation. ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight said “Having two accomplished law firms combine their resources is a huge step forward in the battle to win compensation for the 270,000 investors who lost money in Woodford WEIF (Woodford Equity Income Fund).”

ShareSoc endorsed the Leigh Day claim in November 2020. The organisation believes investors should be compensated and that this was and remains the best claim. Fee propositions are now even more central to investors’ decision as to which claim to join; combining forces means that both claims now enjoy the same quality of legal knowledge, expertise and approach; however Leigh Day is offering investors a “no win no fee” arrangement with costs to the investor capped at 30% of any compensation received, while the offer from Harcus Parker is 42%.

ShareSoc estimates that up to £1billion could be claimed back by investors who lost money in the Woodford debacle. Although to date, only around 20,000 claimants have registered with the two law firms (>12,000 with Leigh Day and c 7,500 with Harcus Parker). The request for a deadline underlines the need for affected investors to take action now.

ShareSoc, Leigh Day and Harcus Parker will be working hard in the coming months to ensure the message reaches the 250,000 victims who have yet to register a claim.

ShareSoc will host a free webinar on 19 July 2022 to spread the word to as many potential claimants as possible. Click here for further details and to register.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost portions of their life savings investing in the WEIF fund. Some of these are sophisticated investors who would have expected Link to have performed their role correctly. Others are ordinary people who were probably totally unaware of the risks being taken. All deserve compensation.

A comparison of the different claims is here.

For further information

Contact: Cliff Weight, Director ShareSoc and ShareSoc Woodford Campaign Director

Information about ShareSoc’s Woodford Campaign

ShareSoc’s Woodford Campaign is centred around the 4Rs of redress, retribution and regulatory reform.

ShareSoc’s campaign objectives are to:

  1. facilitate communication between Woodford investors
  2. help affected Woodford investors to recover their losses where possible
  3. hold to account those who contributed to those losses through action or inaction
  4. improve the way regulators regulate.

Our primary aim is to provide information and facilitate communication 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.

Information About ShareSoc, the UK Individual Shareholders Society

ShareSoc is the UK’s largest retail shareholder organization, acting in all areas of the UK stock market and serving more than 9,000 members. ShareSoc is a not-for-profit company dedicated to the support of individual investors. We aim to make and keep investors better informed to improve their investment skills and protect the value of their investments. We engage with companies, the Government or other institutions if we think individual shareholders are not being treated fairly. See www.sharesoc.org.

ShareSoc represent the interests of ALL individual investors. In addition to our members, 6 million people own shares or have investment accounts with platforms in the UK. The Office for National Statistics estimates that at the end of 2018 UK-resident individuals held 13.5% of the UK stock market, up by 1.2% from 2016 and moving away from the historical lows of 10.2% in 2008. In 2020, the Financial Times estimated that 15% of the UK stock market was held by individual shareholders. In addition to this there are many more who have money invested in shares via funds, pensions and savings products such as employee share ownership schemes. See https://www.sharesoc.org/investor-academy/advanced-topics/uk-stock-market-statistics/

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