A recent update from Gordons LLP, acting on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, proves that Allansons Litigation Funding investment is falling apart.
The text of the update is copied below.
Allansons LLP – Gordons & SRA update
This is an update to the information given to funders in August 2019. It provides further details about Compensation Fund claims and the money held in Allansons’ client account. It also answers some common questions we have been asked by funders since the intervention into Allansons LLP.
We have provided an initial letter to all applicants that explains why we think claims by funders to our Compensation Fund (the Fund) are likely to be unsuccessful. In addition, our initial analysis agrees with that of Allansons’ insurer that the funding is a trade debt (see below). Rule 8.1(d) of the Compensation Fund Rules 2011 specifically excludes claims which are a trade debt. If our final analysis confirms that view, it is likely we will recommend rejection of the claims on that basis. Once our analysis is finalised, we will contact you again to explain how we will deal with the claims.
Several applications we have received state that we should make a payment from the Fund because the loss suffered is a consequence of our intervention. The Fund can only make payments for loss caused by a solicitor/solicitor’s firm and when the rules of the Fund are met. Any losses to funders have not been caused by our closure of the firm and would not meet the Fund’s Rules for a claim.
Some applicants have explained that their funds were used to pay for an audit report that was produced. As their money was used for its intended purpose, there can be no payment from the Fund. We are also unable to consider payment from the Fund for the loss of expected returns on the investments made. Our Rules state that payments will not be made for other additional losses from the funds paid to a solicitor (Rule 8.1(c)).
Allansons’ professional indemnity insurance
We previously advised you to consider making a claim to Allansons’ insurer. Allansons’ insurer has, however, recently stated that it will not pay claims made by funders as their view is that the funds paid are trade debts and are not, therefore, covered by the policy. The insurer has not considered whether Allansons was negligent or dishonest because its view is that the claims are not covered by the policy.
How to recover your money
In our previous information sheet, we gave suggestions about potential ways to recover your money. You should carefully check your agreement with Allansons and consider seeking independent legal advice on the merits of any possible legal action.
We note the FAQs page of the marketing material included the following question and answer:
“Who is responsible for paying me back my investment and potential profit? We are. Allansons Solicitors, as part of our agreement with you”
It is important to say again that the Fund is a fund of last resort. This means that before we can consider applications, funders will need to show that they have considered all other avenues of recovery, including, for example, litigation against Allansons, introducers or other third parties.
Before we can consider your claim, you will need to explain why you cannot take proceedings against Allansons, any introducers or third party that received the funds.
Reinstatement of Mr Allanson’s practising certificate
Many funders have asked us to re-instate Mr Allanson’s practising certificate, as they hope he will be able to continue his work on the miscalculated mortgage payment claims. Mr Allanson has now applied to have his practising certificate reinstated. This application is being considered under the usual process that follows an intervention.
If Mr Allanson’s practising certificate is restored, his previous client files, and client money, will not be sent back to him. It would be a matter for his former clients to decide whether they wanted to give him their instructions and consent for him to work for them again. Following intervention, files are distributed in accordance with client instructions – that will continue.
Money held in the client account
When we intervened into Allansons, we took possession of the money the firm was holding. We have been examining the client account to establish what funds were being held. Our review shows that none of the money held in client account relates to litigation funding. You should be able to find out from your bank the details of the account your money was paid into.
Where is the money I invested?
From what we have seen, money sent by funders to Allansons was pooled into accounts maintained by Allansons. From these accounts, large sums were periodically transferred out, in many cases to bank accounts outside the UK. It is impossible to identify individual funders’ payments in those large sum transfers.
It is also possible that funders sent money to accounts not maintained by Allansons LLP. Funders should check the details of the accounts they were told to send their money to. We are unable to tell you where your money is or what happened to it after you sent it to Allansons. We do not hold your money.
Have you contacted the clients whose claims I was told I was funding?
We notified all former clients, who had ongoing mortgage miscalculated payments claims at the date of the intervention, that Allansons could no longer act for them. Clients were asked to let us know where they wanted their documents to be sent. We asked clients to respond within four weeks. It is a matter for clients as to whether they wish to proceed with their case or not. We have no influence over this. If they do not respond, their claims will not be progressed. If the files are returned to the clients, it is for them to decide whether to proceed.
Status of the miscalculated mortgage payment claims
We have reviewed the files relating to these claims. We have not seen any claims that have been settled. Nor have we seen any claims where offers have been made by the lenders or have resulted in a successful outcome so far.
Some funders were told by Allansons that the claims were at “Stage 3 (Post-report engagement with lender)” or close to completing. Allansons also sent updates to funders that were optimistic about the progress of the claims and recovery from lenders. Our assessment did not reflect the progress of the claims which appear to be in the early stages of correspondence and, from what we have seen, no legal proceedings have been issued.
Of nearly 5000 claims, fewer than 20% of the firm’s files have been requested from Gordons by the former clients of Allansons. Approximately 5% of the total claims have been sent to new solicitors at the clients’ request. We expect more clients may request their files, but we do not expect a significant number. A possible explanation for the low number of files being returned, or sent to a new solicitor, is that the clients do not wish to pursue their claims. We are not able to provide any further information regarding these claims as information on client cases is confidential. This means we cannot give you the contact details of clients or their new solicitors.
You have told me that the case I funded is not live. What does that mean?
In some instances, the Allansons’ case references which funders have given us match with a case which, according to Allansons’ case management system, is not a live case. Our role is limited to contacting clients with ongoing, live cases. We have not and will not be contacting clients where their cases were not active at the date of the intervention.
Giving your details to the new solicitors for claims that you have funded
If you have details of the claims you were funding, we can pass your details to the clients’ newly instructed solicitors (if any). Gordons LLP will do this, and they have recently been in contact with funders to obtain relevant information. We cannot ask the clients or solicitors to contact you – it is their decision whether they do so. There appears to be a strong possibility that funders will not be contacted by the clients or their new solicitors.
Will the clients have to repay the funding if they proceed with the claims?
We cannot give advice about any of the arrangements that may or may not have been in place for the funding of the claims between the different parties – you, Allansons and the clients. If Allansons believe that their former clients have breached a contract with them, that is a matter for them to address. We are not parties to the contracts.
We have seen no evidence to demonstrate that there is any contractual link between funders and the clients of Allansons. Some clients have said that they were unaware that a private individual was funding their claim. We cannot provide any legal advice about the status of any agreement between the clients and Allansons. In the event that a claim is successful, whether you receive any payment will depend entirely on the advice the clients receive from their new solicitors and on the terms of the client’s agreement with Allansons. Given that the claims appear to have been in the early stages, and only a small number of files have been returned to clients or passed to new solicitors, the prospect of recovering any money currently appears remote.
Was the litigation funding opportunity genuine?
This is not for us to answer. However, please consider these links:
Many funders told us they were cold called or approached by unauthorised financial advisors and promised high rates of return with little risk. These are indicators of possible scams. We reiterate that, as at the date of the intervention, there was no evidence of the claims being concluded successfully or even being close to settlement, which is contrary to what many funders were told by Allansons.
We will provide a further update in December 2019, or sooner if we can, about how we will deal with claims made to the Fund.
END OF LETTER.
Safe Or Scam has its own opinions on the best way forward for investors. We are very concerned that investors have been persuaded by Roger Allanson, the owner of Allansons LLP, to lobby the SRA to reinstate him and he will then be able to recover the situation. He will not. The letter from Gordons makes it absolutely clear. He has no claimants. He cannot deliver on his promise to investors to litigate the claims. The ATE insurance is no longer valid. The SRA Compensation Fund is not available to investors. Allansons PI insurance is refusing to cover investor claims and Allansons has no money to repay investors. This is a dead investment as far as the investors’ litigation contract is concerned.
Roger Allanson chose to partner with someone who is known to be involved in multiple scams. A man who scammers always go to for help with establishing and perpetrating their scams. A man who we can link to at least five scams and is known to have offshore companies and offshore bank accounts. A man who runs networks of unregulated sales agents which are closed down as soon as there is any threat of exposure. A man who likes to use Igoria Trade in Poland because they don’t ask questions.
We know these things because we are investigating several scams in which he is involved. We have raised concerns direct with Igoria Trade in the past over their relationship and ongoing involvement in these scams.
We are firmly on the trail of these scammers. Quite how Roger Allanson ever got tied up with this group is something we are looking forward to finding out. Mr Allanson still has a lot of explaining to do.
If you are an Allansons’ investor and you believe the SRA are to blame, or that Roger Allanson has been harshly treated, you are wrong. According to Roger Allanson £20m of investors money has been spent on “audit reports”. That is not true. Roger Allanson knows as well as we do that the money he sent to his partner was being used to pay the sales agent network.
Safe Or Scam has a group of investors who are determined to uncover the truth and recover as much money as they can. Investors need to take action and not be fooled by the promises of Roger Allanson. Unfortunately the claims are finished for investors and it is now about tracing and recovering the money.
To view our previous article on Allansons Litigation Funding CLICK HERE.
To view information on the SRA interventions and Gordons LLP involvement CLICK HERE.