The biggest British investment scandal of the decade continues as a group litigation case has been brought against Link Fund Solutions, administrators of Neil Woodford's collapsed equity income fund, amidst claims that they failed in its duty to protect investors.
At least £18 million worth of lost investment in the Woodford Fund, on behalf of 1,500 people, is being claimed by Harcus Parker, a specialist commercial litigation firm, with proceedings currently being held in the High Court. Augusta Ventures, the largest litigation and dispute funding institution in the UK by cases, are supporting with the litigation funding of this large-scale claim.
Harcus Parker claims that Link Fund Solutions netted fees worth millions of pounds, but failed to suitably administer the £3.7 billion fund. As well as failing to manage the fund’s liquidity, the claim suggests that assets were also not appropriately valued and didn't provide a prudent spread of risk, further reinforcing the lack of protection for investors of the Woodford Fund.
Greg Beres, Investment Manager at Augusta Ventures, comments:
"Augusta Ventures is thrilled to be funding Harcus Parker in pursuing this case. Tens of thousands of investors put their faith in the Woodford Fund by investing their life’s savings in it, but they have been left with very little since its collapse."
"Litigation funding has enabled those investors to seek the justice that they deserve and have no downside risk in doing so. If anyone is still thinking about joining the action, there is still time to do so – and I would recommend that they reach out to Harcus Parker."
Daniel Kerrigan, Senior Associate at Harcus Parker, also comments:
"Litigation funding plays a vital role in providing access to justice for large groups of claimants who individually may not have the means to pay the significant insurance premia and other associated legal costs required to bring a case of this sort. With over 200,000 affected investors still out there, we invite anyone who held shares in the Woodford fund on 3 June 2019 to join our growing client group of over 7,500 clients by registering on our website. We are delighted to be working with Augusta Ventures to bring this case for our clients."
About Augusta Ventures
- Augusta is the largest litigation and dispute funding institution in the UK by cases. Augusta’s scale enables us to make decisions in market-leading timeframes and fund cases of any size.
- Augusta is organised into a series of specialist practice groups: Arbitration, Class/Group Action, Competition, and Consumer Litigation, and sectors including Financial Services and Construction & Energy.
- Augusta has offices in the UK, Australia and Canada.
About Woodford Investment Management
In April 2014, Neil Woodford left his role as head of UK equities at Invesco Perpetual to set up Woodford Investment Management LLP. In April 2015, he launched Woodford Patient Capital Trust, a listed investment trust. Woodford Investment Management launched a second Equity Income Fund in April 2017, LF Woodford Income Focus. Woodford owned 29% of the ill-fated Utilitywise.
On 4 June 2019, trading in Woodford Investment Management’s largest fund (the Woodford Equity Income fund) was suspended. There had been large withdrawals of funds by many investors. Following this, St. James's Place plc terminated Woodford's contract to manage three of its funds, valued at £3.5 billion.
On 15 October 2019 the fund board announced that Woodford's flagship fund, Woodford Equity Income Fund, was to be shut down and Woodford had been removed as investment manager. The following day Woodford announced he would resign from his remaining investment funds and close his investment company in an orderly fashion.
About Harcus Parker
Harcus Parker is a commercial litigation firm. They specialise in bringing and defending complex claims, often involving large groups of claimants. The firm’s partners have fought for the rights of consumers, pensioners, shareholders and the victims of financial misselling.