Sirius Update #9, 14 March 2020

The general disappointment and in many cases anger due to the crystallisation of losses for many investors remains. We reiterate the overall unfairness of the deal, but in the end, this was the only deal on the table.

So, what next?

The Court Hearing on 13th March approved the scheme and it will become effective on 16th March. After this comes the question of legal redress. Here, the process changes gear: time is no longer of the essence, and it is important to take time to properly review the events leading up to the failure of the company to progress the Woodsmith mine independently.

We will do this with a panel of legal funders to establish whether there is support for a no-win-no-fee approach. This has the dual benefit of weeding out claims without merit or without reasonable chance of success, while removing the need for ex-shareholders to throw further money at the Sirius debacle.

Warning and a note of caution

ShareSoc is very nervous about suggesting there may be a viable claim before establishing whether that is indeed the case. ShareSoc has to careful not only to avoid making libellous claims, but also not to over-promise to shareholders about what might be achieved. We will do our best for the shareholders and we will continue to feed back to you our view of what can reasonably be achieved.

In the past few weeks, ShareSoc’s views have not been what some shareholders have wanted to hear and there has been some criticism of ShareSoc’s role. However, ShareSoc’s role is not to raise expectations even if some of our comments may not be what you want to hear. We want to be able to attract the best lawyers and legal funders (if there is a viable case), but making unprofessional claims at this stage will prejudice our ability to do that.

Moving forward

ShareSoc is now creating a single group to consider and take forward the legal options. This group will be known as the SiriusClaim group and will be chaired by Paul Anscombe a Sirius shareholder.

The SiriusClaim group will initially collate and review all the necessary evidence and view points, develop a chronology and legal briefing pack, and review and agree legal and financial partners.

ShareSoc have good links with a number of firms that could take on our case (if we have one), but it will be very expensive to pursue. Therefore, we need to obtain funding and it will be essential that we provide a united and professional image to potential funders and that we do so in a considered way.

Some of you reading this will want to see action and evidence of us doing things now, but we have to manage your expectations.  This will be a lengthy process – we must avoid the approach of “act in haste and repent at leisure”. We will only appoint a legal firm and funders once we believe that we have a case and sufficient evidence to justify making this key step. Only in this way will we be able to appoint the right legal and financial partners.

The more shareholders that support a single group in these circumstances the better the opportunity for gaining top quality legal and financial partners. ShareSoc have covered these kind of situations previously, are an established and recognised group, and we believe that this provides the best possible opportunity for a positive outcome for shareholders.

Potential Claimants

We would now like to ask potential claimants to register with ShareSoc, if they have not already done so. You can register here: https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/sirius/ This will help ensure that we represent as many shareholders as possible to achieve the best outcome.

ShareSoc is reliant on our members’ subscriptions and donations to cover our operating costs, including our office costs and the cost of hosting, maintaining and enhancing this website. Please support us by becoming a full member of ShareSoc, which involves paying a modest annual membership fee and brings you numerous benefits. Details of full member benefits can be found here. Full members can also access our dedicated SSSG Forum, to discuss matters related to Sirius (as well as all our other forums and proprietary content).

Cliff Weight

ShareSoc Director and SSSG/SiriusClaim Team member

PS The Mail on Sunday had a big article on shareholder rights and mentioned Sirius. This type of PR is only one of the things that ShareSoc does on behalf of its members. See https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-8086253/Small-shareholders-set-power-boost.html

 

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