Summary Judgment Success For Acuity Clients In High Court Case
Acuity Law’s litigation team has secured summary judgment and strike-out against the final defendant in litigation brought on behalf of 26 investors against 12 defendants in the High Court.
The judgment, handed down today, concerned several claims against the defendant in a case arising from a series of failed investment schemes. The Acuity team was led by Jared Ursell and Hugh Hitchcock.
The collective investment schemes, established between 2015 and 2017, involved the purchase and development of plots of land using investor capital via a “bare trust” structure. The schemes were unlawfully established, promoted and operated, and failed in their entirety, causing the claimants (representing approximately half of the overall investor pool) to bring proceedings against the individuals and companies involved.
The claims included a breach of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), a breach of the rules in the FCA’s Supervision handbook, SUP 12, and a breach of the Conduct of Business Rules. Claims in deceit were also made against two of the defendants.
The application for summary judgment/strike-out was made against the final remaining defendant, Kession Capital Limited (“KCL”), with judgment having already been obtained against 10 defendants and one defendant having been made bankrupt. KCL was the principal of the company that had established, promoted and operated the schemes – Jacob Hopkins McKenzie Limited – under an authorised representative agreement.
The Judge, Paul Stanley KC, awarded summary judgment on the basis that KCL, by virtue of section 39(3) of FSMA, assumed responsibility for the promotion of the collective investment schemes, which in itself was a breach of section 238 of FSMA (and with that breach being actionable by way of section 241 of FSMA).
A copy of the judgment can be found here.
Hugh Sims KC and Jay Jagasia, both of Guildhall Chambers, were instructed on behalf of the claimants.