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Retired IFA John Calland granted appeal in FSA harassment case

Retired IFA John Calland has been granted an appeal in his harassment case against the FSA.

Calland, who has been battling the regulators for over 12 years, sued the FSA for harassment in 2010.

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 FSA. Calland then applied to the Court of Appeal to have a full appeal against the striking out of his claim.

At a hearing earlier this month Lady Justice Gloster granted Calland permission to appeal. A date for the appeal is yet to be set.

Kitsons Solicitors partner David Turner, who is representing Calland, says: “Whilst this is not the end of the matter, this is a significant ruling for Calland. On the surface it cannot appear to be correct that the FSA can simply defend any claim against its on the grounds of its statutory immunity. There must surely be a reasonableness test here.

“Calland’s allegations are serious ones and they deserve to be heard out and he should not be silenced simply on a technicality. We look forward to progressing the matter and going to the Court of Appeal”.

Calland says: “I was very grateful that the judge seemed to understand why there was a case for the FSA to answer, and that she was patient enough to cope with me representing myself despite my shortcomings in legal terms. The support and presence of my long-term solicitor, David Turner, was much appreciated.”

Calland 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.

Calland says the FSA had no right to raise claims from his former clients since he was not in default, and the PIA held evidence of his review having been satisfactorily completed, and verified with monitoring visits.

The mailings resulted in a FOS award of £48,000 against Calland, which was upheld at judicial review. Calland is now taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.


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There are 23 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I shudder to think of the legal charges – unless Mr Calland is getting it on the cheap.

    Point of principle? Get a life! I wonder what the cost benefit analysis looks like. Not to mention over 12 years of stress and aggro.

    He could have just done a bunk to somewhere nice and warm and it would probably have cost him an awful lot less – not to mention the peace and quiet.

  2. Sorry, Harry. Somebody needs to stand up to regulatory bullying. The representative bodies sure as hell aren’t

  3. Philip Milton 21st May 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I have said before too that FOS jurisdiction must surely have been the issue here – the client should have been barred from raising a complaint under the three year rule, let alone the Statute of Limitation generally.

  4. Philip Castle 21st May 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Sorry Harry, it is a point of principle.

    It is worth remembering that CROWN immunity in HM forces went out sometime ago and then shortly after, FSA immunity was brought in!

    How does that work?

    Next we’ll have an F-pack Internal Security Team (FIST) armed with Tazers…… and they come round and do that to you.

  5. Gordon Sinclair 21st May 2014 at 9:47 pm

    @ Harry Katz

    I am somewhat surprised at your comment.

    I thought you would have supported and applauded an individual for standing up for themselves.

    You are right, he could have done a bunk but he has shown some backbone and fought his corner.

    Should he be successful if could mean good things for the adviser community.

  6. john reynolds 22nd May 2014 at 6:47 am

    Alan, I’m with you.

    Harry is spot on. I understand that 1 million%. But, sometimes it needs someone to walk the road less travelled.

  7. My wife and I could have run away, as Harry suggests, but in reality it amounts to running away from yourself, and I don’t believe it could have led to a good life. Besides, I had no reason to run – I had met all of my regulatory obligations before my retirement, and yet almost 300 of my clients were urged to fill out pension questionnaires – a few of them responded and were then informed by the FSA that I “owed” them specific sums of compensation but had “refused to pay it”. Those statements were untrue and only based on un-investigated loss-assessments. Why should I run away from everything my life had been about, and let the FSA take that away from me?

  8. Anyone read Don Quixote?

  9. Well done John what you have done has taken a lot of guts and I for one applaud you.

  10. Harry, this stance does you no credit. Your comments depict somebody who is callous and ill-serving.

    There is more to life than money and it is only those people who go that extra yard that make a difference.

    I recall years back that you stated you would not write an article for a newspaper unless it paid you. Your continual posts must be worth £000’s by now.

  11. @Harry
    Yes, I’ve read it and understand the point. However, it is fiction and there’s a book for all views. Have you read Animal Farm? Not the best allegory but I like the windmill connection.

  12. Harry – I have read Don Q, and Dantes inferno and the King James Bible and The Quoran and………what has that got to do with the price of fish?
    I also read my terms of enlistment before swearing and oathe to the Queen in 1984 and the amended terms oif engagement for the Armed Forces in about 1998 and resigned half way through my term to waive my original terms before their expiry so that I was subject to the same ones as my soldiersI re-read my terms of engagement in February 2000 before signing on again and then resigned 1 month later when I had concerns about which way the UK was going, one year later we had 9/11 (which was predicted) and a year after that Afghanistand followed by an illegal war in Iraq. So yes I read a LOT.

  13. @Phil C
    Then you know where tilting at windmills gets you.

    @Alan Lakey and others. You can be gung-ho and encouraging. You haven’t wasted 12 years and goodness knows how much money on this farrago.

    How much has this cost John Calland? How much was the liability and was a deal (discount) possible? I guess he thinks he will win. If so will he get all his money back? Will he ever recover the lost time? If he wins will he really have that much satisfaction after putting himself through all this nonsense? Apart from the moral high ground – if he wins (and the plaintiffs don’t appeal) what has he achieved?

    And if he loses????

    For a financial adviser to say that there is more to life than money is certainly a novel approach. How does that impinge on your clients and on your own business? “Sorry mate, I’ve lost you a packet, but there’s more to life than money’

    To paraphrase Shaw “.. you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle”. And it is also as well to recall your Dickens “The one great principle of English law is to make a business for itself”

    I’m sorry guys, but in my book this boils down to stupidity. His lawyers must be laughing all the way to their banks! You have your principles and holiday in Bognor; I’ll stick to pragmatism and holiday in the Seychelles.

  14. Philip Castle 22nd May 2014 at 3:44 pm

    @Harry – Look what “Peace in our time” did or “no more boom and bust”

    Standing as a witness in court doesn’t benefit the individual if they witnessed the crime.

    Bystander apathy (as with Srebrenica)… was that acceptable in your view Harry? and before you ask, I don’t actually think we should have had UN troops at Srebrenica and one of the reasons I resigned was the contradiction under the Geneva Convention that put the UN troops under who were there when it happened. follow the Geneva Convention and defend the people present and become victims yourself, or follow your orders and stand back.

    With regard John Calland, I don’t know the man, but IF the F-pack are acting outwith their remit as I suspect, then if we don’t speak up, it could be you or I next Harry. The great and the good in London have previous with regard that when you look at how we sent to Cossacks (men, WOMEN & CHILDREN) back to Russia from Austria after fighting on the WRONG side in WW2 having left Russia as WHITE Russians, not Soviets.

  15. Philip Castle 22nd May 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Harry – Its not personal by the way, I am smiling when I write this and consider you a friend and agree with a lot you say, but it would be boring if I agreed with everything!

  16. Gordon Sinclair 22nd May 2014 at 4:42 pm

    @ Harry Katz

    What would the world be like if nobody fought their corner.

    Sometimes if you feel aggrieved you just have to fight back…irrespective of cost.

  17. Yes, there is more to life than money.

    I will not take on a client who is fixated on money because irrationality follows.

    There has to be balance and we will never agree where that balance is.

    I recall my first day at senior school and being approached by the school bully who told me that he ran the school. A poke in the nose ended that conversation and he didn’t return. Somethimes this is what you have to do, figuratively or otherwise.

  18. As a final comment on this topic and with reference to Phil’s military analogies; which in truth I don’t always follow. (Yes Phil, of course I don’t take it personally).

    It may not surprise many that I’m first generation British. My parents were refugees from Hitler’s Germany. They could have stood on a point of principle and argued and ended up in the ovens. Instead they sensibly didn’t fight their corner, but just buggered off and left them to it. They came to Britain and were jolly grateful to have been accepted. They (and their parents – my grandparents) became productive members of the community. They too thought Germany was their home at the time. My Grandfather was a decorated WW1 soldier in the artillery and the mayor of his village, but sometimes the principle just isn’t worth it.

    That’s about all I have to say on this topic.

  19. I too would have done what your parents and grandparents did, Harry – if possible. But you seem to be suggesting the FCA presents to the regulated the same kind of threat as Hitler did to the Jewish people. I have tried not to forget that regulators are human beings and go home to their friends and families just as we do, because in my opinion the real “Hitler” in our midst is FSMA 2000. That’s why I believe the law is important in creating change, and that what would be most effective is a class action. I hope the adviser community will eventually do something along those lines, and achieve some basic rights to defend itself. After all, the majority of Jewish people just could not manage to get out of Germany, and were left to face the consequences of being deprived of their rights.

  20. Gordon Sinclair 22nd May 2014 at 9:20 pm

    @ Harry Katz

    Right enough sometimes principles are just not worth it.

    But this is not someone making a stand against mass genocide.

    This is someone taking all legal measures to defend themselves against what they perceive to be a wrong.

    I applaud the man.

  21. Sorry all readers it was my fault I think we came on to Hitler not Harry’s.

    I do think we’ve pretty much come to a consensus on here would you say i.e. that the cost of fighting this for Mr Calland may outweigh on financial reward, BUT the value of fighting it may be different to different people.

    My sticking to my guns with the FCA over the terms in my Client Agreement are costing me dear in time and money and may result in them deciding to take enforcement action, but they have a choice, as do I. Either of us can back down without accepting they other is right or we can discuss things like adults and agree a way forward. It’s taken me over four years to get the FCA to the stage where instead of writing with threats, they will meet face to face with me, so we will see what happens next month and whether we can find a solution acceptable to both sides. all this could have been done MUCH quicker had a mediation process been used rather than dictation.
    I suspect the same is true for John Calland’s case. They take a position and then forge ahead regardless as they believe the Leviathan has the weight behind it to overide objections….. but it doesn’t unless it chooses to use draconian powers, which it needs to be forced to decide whether they are appropriate or NOT.

  22. My thanks to everyone for their comments on the article about my situation. I am very grateful for both the support and for the discussion which keeps things in perspective. I certainly agree with Philip that dialogue rather than dictation is a way forward, and I have experienced exactly the same problem.

  23. Julian Stevens 23rd May 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I hope you win Mr Calland. Somebody has to stand up to these unaccountable bullies in their decidedly besmirched ivory tower.

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