Two of the law firms pressing claims over the alleged mismanagement of the now collapsed Woodford Equity Income Fund are looking to join forces in a bid to win redress for investors.
Leigh Day and Harcus Parker, which collectively represent over 19,000 investors, filed a joint application at the High Court today for a Group Litigation Order (GLO) against Link Fund Solutions, the administrator of the fund.
Speaking to City A.M., Leigh Day solicitor Meriel Hodgson-Teall said the move to pool resources between the two firms would “ensure they are pulling in the same direction” which would help “lead to a better outcome for claimants” and “get there more quickly”.
Investors are looking to recoup their cash after formerly star-stockpicker Neil Woodford was hit by an investor exodus in June 2019 over concerns of his risky investments in illiquid assets.
The fund was frozen to stem the flow of investors and later liquidated, and the Financial Conduct Authority is currently investigating the causes of the collapse.
The claims being filed against Link by the two law firms set out alleged breaches of rules including “inappropriate levels of investment in illiquid, speculative or hard-to-value stocks”, “an inappropriate investment strategy”, “issues with the valuations of the fund’s assets” and untrue and misleading statements in the investment prospectus.
Investors in the fund also allege that if Link had not breached the rules, the fund would not have been suspended in June 2019 and the claimants would not have been locked in.
Hodgson-Teall told City A.M. that investors were growing restless with the length of the investigation.
“We definitely hear from our clients a lot that they’re very frustrated that it’s taking a long time and that the FCA investigation is moving more quickly and there isn’t more publicly available information about it,” she said.
She added that the court claims would try and “get people compensation and redress as soon as we can”.
Link Fund Solutions has been contacted for comment.