Leigh Day is not taking on further clients on its Woodford group claim. You may be able to find details of other solicitors to assist you on the Law Society website.
In this case, Leigh Day are representing a group of claimants who are seeking to obtain compensation from Link Fund Solutions Limited (“Link”) for losses they suffered as a result of investing in the Woodford Equity Income Fund (“WEIF”).
Leigh Day currently represents over 13,000 investors who have lost out as a result of their investment in WEIF.
Where a large number of people have claims against the same defendant arising out of the same set of circumstances.
WEIF’s authorised corporate director, Link, is responsible for the operation of the fund. The rules of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) require funds, such as WEIF, to follow investment restrictions that are designed to protect investors. Among other things, the FCA rules provided that: (i) the fund should maintain a prudent spread of risk, taking into account its investment objective; (ii) the fund may invest in securities only to the extent that it did not compromise Link’s ability to redeem shares; and (iii) prevented WEIF from holding more than 10% of its portfolio in certain less liquid investments such as unlisted companies. These rules were designed to prevent the fund from investing in securities which would be difficult to sell and might therefore prevent investors from withdrawing their money from the fund. Our investigations lead us to believe that Link allowed WEIF to hold excessive levels of illiquid or difficult-to-sell investments, and that this caused investors significant loss.
We have therefore issued proceedings on behalf of our clients against Link for their failure to properly carry out the management function of the fund and in particular, for breaches of rules in the Collective Investment Schemes sourcebook of the FCA Handbook.
Neil Woodford was a director of Woodford Investment Management Limited (“Woodford”), which performed the fund’s investment management function. Link delegated this responsibility to Woodford until 15 October 2019 when Woodford was relieved of this role. Because Link is the business responsible for the fund’s operation, we are currently bringing a claim against Link only.
The case we are presently bringing is against Link as the opinion of Leigh Day, having considered the evidence, is that a case against Link has the best prospect of success.
It is too early to be able to give an accurate prediction of the timescale to conclude this matter to a satisfactory outcome. If it is necessary to progress the matter through trial, the case could take longer than three years.
Leigh Day is only bringing claims on behalf of investors in WEIF as it was this fund that was affected by liquidity issues that caused the fund’s suspension and winding-up.
Leigh Day is collaborating with Harcus Parker, a law firm which also represents Woodford investors in a group action and their claims will progress throughout the court together. However, although Leigh Day and Harcus Parker will be progressing the claims on behalf of their clients together, they still act for their clients individually. Leigh Day will continue to represent the individuals who have instructed Leigh Day; Harcus Parker will continue to act for the people who have instructed Harcus Parker. The terms on which they each act for their clients will remain unchanged.
Our current analysis on the progress of WEIF’s wind-up can be found in some of our articles and blogs, which are available here.
Link published an update on the winding-up of the fund on 6 October 2022. This update explained that as of 30th September 2022 the fund's Net Asset Value was £79,935,214.
Link also stated that it was planning to distribute around £20 million of the Fund's cash by way of a fifth capital distribution, with confirmation of the total amount to be distributed to investors to follow. The capital distribution took place in November 2022.