Lawyers who represent investors against Berkeley Burke over allegations of mis-sold Sipps estimate more than 1,000 claims could be in the pipeline.
The High Court has approved a group litigation order relating to claims against Berkeley Burke Sipp Administration, and those affected have until 23 July 2018 to register to join the group action.
It is alleged that Berkeley Burke established the Sipps in breach of the Financial Service and Markets Act 2000, after unregulated third-party firms advised them to transfer their traditional private or occupational pension funds to a Berkeley Burke Sipp in order to invest into a variety of high risk schemes.
Claimants were often promised high or guaranteed returns across a variety of investments including self-storage units and foreign property developments.
Many investors have seen the value of their pensions plummet – or in many cases become worthless – following these investments, or have been left with highly illiquid pension portfolios.
A significant number of claimants invested their entire pension funds into the scheme, leaving them with no other source of income.
Currently 77 people have already registered for the group claim, pursuing a total of more than £3.7m in lost funds, but it is estimated that there could be in excess of 1,000 claimants affected by the same issue.
The claimants are represented by lawyers at Hugh James solicitors, based in Cardiff, and Wixted & Co. Solicitors, based in London..
Hugh James partner and financial claims specialist Neil Stockdale says: “The approval of a group litigation order is a really important step for the hundreds of people affected by this issue.
“People were wrongly encouraged to invest sums of money – in many cases their entire pension pots – into products which were unsuitable. These people have been left in a desperately difficult situation, which we’re now helping to put right.
He adds: “The court has recognised that there are common issues which affect these investors, meaning that we can now proceed with a co-ordinated action with all claims being administered in a single court.
“It is, however, vital that potential victims come forward before the closing date of 23 July 2018 or they risk missing out on the opportunity to be compensated for their financial loss.”
Berkeley Burke declined to comment.