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Clarifications on court cases

I don’t want to be too precious about Nic Cicutti’s column in last week’s issue but I need to make some clarifications. Gareth Fatchett was not the solicitor of record for the Pickerings. They instructed counsel directly.

The wasted hearing is not a matter of allegation. The judge made a wasted costs’ order which the Financial Ombudsman Service did not appeal against and has never challenged in any other forum.

It was for this reason that I thought that the FOS would be lucky to obtain an expedited hearing, a matter for the court’s discretion and not a question of the correctness of the judgement appealed against.

What was not known publicly at the time was that the Pickerings had brought a separate judicial review application raising similar issues for which they obtained leave. The court, not unreasonably, joined the two hearings together to save time and resources.

Cicutti infers that I somehow supported the Pickerings or suggested that firms should not pay the case fee while their appeal was pending. My published writing on the subject says exactly the opposite.

Their failure to pay two FOS awards, one of which was the subject of a reference to the tribunal and the other of which they challenged through judicial review was appalling, as were most of their arguments in the fees’ case.

Again, I wrote and commented about these things when they were happening without the benefit of hindsight, the perfection of which seems still to elude Cicutti.

Adam Samuel
Compliance consultant
London

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