Retired IFA John Calland is considering taking his long-running harassment case against the FSA to the Supreme Court after losing an appeal.
Calland, who has been battling with the regulators for over 12 years, sued the FSA for harassment in 2010 over mailings by the then regulator to 300 of his former clients in 2002.
In 2011 a judge dismissed the FSA’s attempt to strike out the claim. The FSA appealed and in 2012 a judge found in favour of the regulator.
Calland then applied to the Court of Appeal to have a full appeal against the striking out of his claim. The appeal was granted in May. But in a judgment handed down last week the Court of Appeal dismissed Calland’s claim.
Lord Justice Lewison says: “In agreement with the recorder, in my judgment, this conduct comes nowhere near crossing the threshold [into harassment]. It is not even at the front garden gate.
“I echo the words of Lord Justice Ward in Sunderland City Council v Conn: what on earth is the world coming to if conduct of the kind that occurred in this case can be thought to be harassment?”
The judgment considered a number of communications between Calland and the regulator, including a phone call between Calland and an FSA employee named Sidonio.
Lord Justice Lewison says: “The first point to make is the call took place at Mr Calland’s invitation following a voicemail that he left on Mr Sidonio’s phone. This is not a promising start for a claim of harassment.”
Calland says: “I and my legal team are severely disappointed and we are now having to reflect on matters.”
It remains open to Calland to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court. He says this is an option he is considering. He claims in 2002 the FSA Pensions Unit repeatedly mailed almost 300 former pension clients of his firm to solicit pension claims from them, despite the fact that five years earlier he had completed a review of all his firm’s pension business before his retirement.
He says the FSA had no right to raise claims from his former clients because he was not in default and the regulator held evidence of his satisfactorily completed review.
The mailings resulted in a Financial Ombudsman Service award of £48,000 against Calland, which was upheld at judicial review.
After losing at the Court of Appeal in January 2014, Calland is now taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds he has been denied the right to a fair trial because the FOS has not had an oral hearing on the case.