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Solicitor wants cash to launch legal fight

Armstrong Neal Financial Solicitors is hoping to rally IFAs to start a fighting fund to take legal proceedings against the directors and auditors of Equitable Life.

If there is enough support from IFAs and their Equitable clients, the firm is hoping to get a QC&#39s opinion on whether there are grounds for taking an action against the directors and auditors due to negligence.

Armstrong Neal is hoping to hold a meeting of IFAs and other interested parties in February 2001 and draft the barrister to take on the case.

In the run-up to the proposed event, IFAs can apply for a free factsheet on the next steps for worried policyholders at karen@armstrong neal.financial.co.uk.

Partner Gareth Fatchett says: “There are some very searching questions which need to be answered as far as Equitable Life and its auditors are concerned. Our aim is to find out whether a case for negligence would have any merit.”

RJ Temple regional managing director (corporate division) David Dresner Barnes says: “My immediate reaction would be to ask to what end this action is being taken? If you sue Equitable, it has no money and if you sue the directors, how much money is this likely to generate for policyholders?” Advisory & Brokerage Services managing director Gareth Marr says: “I think Equitable policyholders have shown themselves to be tough enough to look after themselves, but IFAs should be offering them a sympathetic home.”

l London solicitor Leon Kaye is asking IFAs to refer their Equitable policyholders to a separate action group aiming to challenge Equitable Life on the grounds of negligence by offering guarantees it could not keep.

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