A man mis-sold a pension by an individual financial advisor (IFA) has won his UK High Court battle to keep a Norwich Union windfall and also to receive compensation from the IFA.
The judge, the Right Honourable Sir Andrew Morritt, this morning ruled that Ronald Taber, the pensioner who was mis-sold a Norwich Union policy, was was entitled to full compensation of £21,000 or £1,457 per annum from Needler Financial Services. The judge said that Taber was entitled to compensation even though he later received a demutualisation windfall of £8,000 from Norwich Union.
Taber's victory means that 43,000 policyholders are now entitled to full compensation from being mis-sold their pension plans. Needler had gone to court to challenge the current mis-selling review procedures, arguing that as Taber had received a windfall payment from Norwich Union, that amount should deducted from his compensation.
In delivering his verdict, the judge also denied Needler permission to appeal. Should the IFA wish to do so it will have to apply separately to the Court of Appeal for permission. He also said that Needler's contention Mr Taber had received the windfall as a result of their advice was unsound.
Norton Rose, the law firm that won the historic House of Lords ruling which caused the Equitable Life to close to new business, represented Taber. The Norton Rose team was led by Peter Hardy, and assisted by Helen Ashenden, Polly Salter and Angus Duncan. Hardy was also on the team that faced Equitable.
The UK government set up the pensions mis-selling review in 1994, following the deluge of cases that emerged in the early 1990s where investors had been mis-sold pensions by IFAs. Those investors had been wrongly advised to provide for their retirement through a personal pension plan, rather than remaining with an occupational pension scheme.
By Geoffrey Ho
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