Potential shareholder claims hit 850 after “breathtaking” Quindell restatements

Print This Post

14 August 2015


Colin Gibson

Gibson: “quite a lot” has gone wrong at Quindell

The number of potential shareholder claims against Quindell plc has hit 850 in the wake of last week’s “breathtaking” financial restatements, it has emerged.

The restatements were announced on the same day as two more investigations were launched into what happened before it sold the legal business to Slater & Gordon, one by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the other by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The Financial Conduct Authority is already investigating.

Colin Gibson, chief operating officer of Your Legal Friend, which is working on the potential group action, said the latest investigations “bear out our feeling that quite a lot has gone substantially wrong at Quindell from a governance point of view”.

Mr Gibson said the number of potential claimants had been “increasingly fairly steadily”, but “there was a surge over the last week or so”.

Given the amount of new information, he said the letter of claim being drafted by Your Legal Friend, a trading name of Camps Solicitors, would have to be “substantially reworked”.

Mr Gibson went on: “We are very happy that the latest disclosures give us considerable new material on how investors were misled.

“The scale of the restatements was fairly breathtaking. We had expected significant restatements, but their whole profit record has been completely changed by the numbers they have now put forward.”

Among the restatements was a reduction of £109m in claims management revenue for the year 2013.

Mr Gibson said he was “very interested” by the timing of the FRC investigation, which, it emerged last week, began with a letter sent on 20 March 2014.

At exactly this point, Mr Gibson said Rob Terry, Quindell’s former chairman, was “pushing very hard on the story that the company was ready to move from the AIM market to the main market, and a critical part of this was his statement, made only a few days later, about the company’s three-year financial track record”. This was in a statement made to the stock exchange on 31 March 2014.

Mr Gibson said Your Legal Friend could “realistically” issue the letter of claim within the next couple of months. The claimants are being funded through a conditional fee agreement, backed by after-the-event insurance.

It was announced earlier this summer that Philip Marshall QC of Serle Court, who is acting for shareholders suing RBS and Tesco, has been appointed lead counsel for the potential group action.

Tags: , , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms and Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Legal Futures Blog

The digital deed: what will the digital mortgage mean for property transactions?

Andrew Lloyd 2017

Over the past 20 years, nearly all aspects of our financial lives have migrated online, from tax returns to banking. Yet arguably the most important and protracted financial process in our lives has remained doggedly devoted to the paper based world. A single signature in Rotherhithe, south-east London, on 4 April, however, may have just lit the touch paper for transforming this process. By signing the UK’s first ever digital mortgage through the government’s new “sign your mortgage deed” service, a signal was sent that the home-buying process is finally on course to be digitised, simplified and streamlined.

May 24th, 2018