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Retired IFA John Calland loses appeal in FSA harassment case

Retired IFA John Calland has lost his 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.

But in a judgment handed down today, 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 Ward LJ 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?”

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.

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 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. He should have retired south of the equator. That’s the only way to escape the hounds from hell.

  2. What a compete plonker. The result was a forgone conclusion. He paid the FOS £48k. How much has it now cost him in legal fees? Did he have to pay the Regulators cost too?

    How much is it going to cost him going to the European Court. Perhaps he has a fairy Godmother who is willing to stump up these enormous sums.

    Please – don’t anyone tell me it’s a point of principle. Where is the principle now that he has lost? When he loses in Europe – where is that principle?

  3. Trevor Harrington 13th March 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Whilst I actually do sympathise with John Calland, and in my opinion, the regulator would indeed seem to have had some other motivation which we are unaware of, there is an answer to the problem, which all Financial Advisers should be considering with a great deal of urgency.

    Had John Calland set his business up as a Limited liability company, or converted his business to that status before selling-up and retiring, he would have been immune to this sort of regulatory action.

    Limited liability companies are more expensive to run, but they are far more preferable than self employed arrangements or partnerships, if only because of this sort of regulatory action.

    Indeed, a limited liability company status also resolves the continuing lack of a “long stop” arrangement, although it may well result in larger PI premiums, as well as the knock on effect of the need for far more solid and replicable compliance controls.

  4. I’m afraid Harry Katz does not have his facts straight – I don’t know where he gets his information from.

  5. @Trevor – In theory you are right re Ltd companies (My firm ahs been one from day one). In practice as the compliance Director of Financial has reportedly found out, if the F-pack don’t like you, they can just fine the individual instead (an ban them for life) even where a ltd company is involved without wrongoing being anything else other than one persons opinion over another’s.
    John Calland has my sympathy.

  6. John Calland

    Are these or not the facts?

    1. The mailings resulted in a FOS award of £48,000 against Calland
    2. the Court of Appeal dismissed Calland’s claim.

    Did it cost you (or a benefactor) nothing at all for these legal processes?

    Who is paying for the European Court proceedings.?

    What facts are in error?

    All I can see is that obduracy seems to be your strongest suit.

  7. Harry – my name is Chris Calland and I am John’s wife and usually act as his secretary. I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask John to respond to your comments because he is now 76 and had a very serious brain aneurysm about 6 months ago. He is still recovering. Unfortunately I’m not willing to respond myself either in this public arena. You may think the fat lady has sung, but there is still a lot going on and it would not be useful to discuss it here. All I would suggest to you is that principles don’t get lost and to a certain extent neither does money – it only gets spent, and John has done what he wanted and needed to do with it. His story has not yet been fully told and so it isn’t right to hold a post mortem yet as it seems you would like to do. But I understand your interest, and thank you for it. Please be patient at this stage, and don’t think too badly of my husband – we have been married for 53 years, and I still love him – obduracy and all!

  8. Forming a limited company does not get you off the hook for previous advice when unlimited.

    As always, a longstop would help as would some form of independent oversight body empowered to stop the FCA/FSA/FOS in their tracks when they decide to persecute or break the law or make new law or . . you know what I mean.

    I wish John Calland every success in his fight and it’s a shame that others continue to cower in the face of bullys

  9. Chris, sorry to hear of John`s health problems. I do hope he is able to make a full recovery. May I wish you all the very best in your continuing “struggle” in this case. As a former IFA myself I am fully aware that something like this could potentially come down on me in the future, as indeed it could on any adviser.

  10. Harry….No need!!

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