Ten former Ashley Law IFAs have formed an action group seeking a minimum of £500,000 compensation from the national IFA firm for alleged breach of franchise agreements and loss of revenue through lack of advertising.
The group shares legal costs and says another seven people are waiting to join.
Chris Wilson is the first of the former franchisees to pursue a county court action against the national firm, alleging breach of franchise agreements. The group will back his case with eight affidavits and is waiting to see the outcome before consulting with solicitors Conway & Co on further action. Ashley Law has 75 franchises and 140 RIs.
Group spokeswoman and AP Financial Services adviser Ned Naylor says: “The industry suffers and we suffer when something like this happens. All we are looking for is to be reimbursed for renewal commission, franchise fees and the 4 per cent of turnover we paid that should have been used for advertising and promotions. The cumulative effect of failing to promote the business to clients and the consequential loss can be quantified.”
Ashley Law managing director Jock Cassidy says: “First and foremost, we have never refused to have a mediation with the other side. As far as we are concerned, we are strongly denying any liability. In themselves, these are small amounts of money – largely renewal commission – and any other network has similar problems when advisers leave.”