UK - A court ruling has paved the way for 10 Equitable Life claimants' cases to go to trial as a group.
A judge at Bristol’s Mercantile Court ruled that the claimants – eight individuals and two companies collectively known as the Equitable Managed List – will go to trial just after Easter next year.
This will be the first case of its kind against Equitable.
The group’s claims against Equitable Life include pensions, corporate investments, and non-pension investments.
Clarke Willmott & Clarke solicitor, Robert Morfee, who heads its Equitable Life case team of four solicitors and a barrister, said: “Despite the trial date next year, I expect these first claims to be settled long before then. If not, spring 2004 is crunch time for Equitable.
“In the meantime, I expect to be given access to many of Equitable’s internal papers. We shall, therefore, be in a position to learn exactly what went wrong with Equitable’s risk management and reserving against liabilities.”
CW&C’s Equitable Life team has remained committed to using group action solely for the treatment of common issues to avoid duplicated costs to claimants in commissioning actuaries and litigating on shared matters.
Equitable Life has around 6000 group personal pension and AVC schemes representing more than 500,000 members and holding around £4bn – nearly 20% – of the society’s funds of £21bn.
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