We’ve written to Shepherd Cox a few times recently and not received a response. In March 2020, ten investors filed administration applications over six Shepherd Cox companies. You can read our previous article about it here.
It appears that the pressure of facing six administration applications which allege not only that the companies are insolvent, but also that they operated unlawful investment schemes, has proven too much for Shepherd Cox.
They have come out fighting, but instead of a Sylvester Stallone professional boxer “Rocky” type scenario, it is more like a drunk whose been kicked out of a pub at closing time, can’t stand up properly and starts swinging his arms in all directions trying to land a punch on anything he can get close enough to.
The Shepherd Cox response could have been to write a clear and concise email to investors explaining why they believe the administration applications were incorrect and would not succeed, but instead they chose to write a very, very, very, very long email blaming Safe Or Scam, Coronavirus and the investors themselves for not being willing to accept non-payment of their guaranteed rentals.
The Shepherd Cox response was full of false statements and lies designed to mislead their own investors. They appear willing to say anything to try to muddy the waters in the hope that they can persuade investors NOT to support the action being taken by other investors who have become frustrated with not being paid the rentals they are entitled to.
Our previous article was actually quite gentle on Shepherd Cox. We had hoped they could be persuaded to put the investors best interests at heart and be willing to discuss a settlement which gives investors the best chance of recovering as much money as they can, but Shepherd Cox just doesn’t get it. The Shepherd Cox response was to try to mislead investors with an incredible list of lies and false statements. Now we feel it is fair to publish some of the things we were keeping quiet. Those things are:
> – Shepherd Cox has a history of involvement in collapsed hotel room investment schemes going back as far as 2014. See this report here.
> – Shepherd Cox knew that they were massively over-pricing the hotel rooms and that their model of selling hotel rooms with guaranteed rentals was always going to end in failure. They had clear evidence of that in 2014/2015. Shepherd Cox sold hotel rooms in 2014 for £94,500. They weren’t the hotel owner at that time. They were the sales agent, but they had a falling out with the developer and took over the hotels. They later bought the rooms back from investors for £12,000. Investors lost 85% of their investment. That was not the kind of buy-back investors were expecting !
> – Two Shepherd Cox directors, Nick Carlile and Lee Bramzell, are the subject of a legal claim made by an investor who alleges they have defaulted on personal loans he gave to them. The sum of money is very large and it is the intention of the creditor to pursue bankruptcy proceedings against them if he is not repaid in full.
The Shepherd Cox response to the administration applications was so long and it contained so many lies that we simply cannot go through them all. We don’t really need to because the situation can be summarised very easily.
Six Shepherd Cox hotel companies have to provide evidence to the court by 16th April 2020 that the allegations made by investors are false. They have to prove to the court that the companies are solvent and that their investment schemes were lawful. If they fail to do that then the companies are very likely to be placed into administration and investors are very likely TO BE ENTITLED TO FULL PAYMENT OF OVERDUE RENTALS AND A FULL REFUND OF THEIR INVESTMENTS. This will apply to every investor.
We believe it is very unlikely that the six Shepherd Cox companies have enough assets to repay investors in full. If the schemes are deemed unlawful we believe action is likely to be needed to be taken against other Shepherd Cox companies, company directors, lenders (there are some companies and individuals which appear throughout the process and which may have liability to compensate investors), and other parties involved in the unlawful schemes in order to recover more money. That is what we have been working on. We’re also able to work with the administrators on behalf of investors, the vast majority of which are based in the Far East and have asked us to assist them.
That’s it – very simple.
No investor needs to worry about rentals, fake buy-backs and false promises. No investor has to take over any hotel unless they choose to do so. If Shepherd Cox cannot persuade a court that the allegations are untrue then investors will be entitled to refunds.
The Shepherd Cox response was simply an attempt to stop investors from supporting the investors who filed the administration applications. It hasn’t worked because these applications are now supported by more than 50 investors.
The bad news for Shepherd Cox is that investors in Shepherd Cox Hotels (Lymm) Ltd and Shepherd Cox Hotels (Durham) Ltd have also been coming forward. These hotels aren’t included in the six administration applications. We are hoping that investors in Ibis Hotel Lymm and Hallgarth Manor will decide that they too have had enough and will apply for those companies to be placed into administration.
Any information on New Order Investments Ltd gratefully received, along with information on Universal Goldstar Limited. It’s not a UK company so there’s a challenge for all would-be sleuths out there.
Shepherd Cox is very keen to tell investors it has every intention to be a £100m company. They must be referring to the amount of money they will owe to investors in the future.
We thought we would finish this article with quotes from some of the investors who were persuaded to invest with Shepherd Cox.