Time Waits for No Man

    View Authors November 2014

    Many financial advisers are facing claims from customers alleging the “mis-sale” of investment products, which the customer says were “unsuitable” for them.

    In reality, many of these products were not “mis-sold” but simply performed poorly because of the global financial crisis, which no financial adviser could reasonably have predicted at the point of sale. That has not however prevented some claims management companies from drumming up business in the media.

    A common feature of some of these claims is that the products were sold many years ago. That can make the claims tricky for advisers to defend as sometimes not all the relevant evidence (documentary or witness) is easily available at such long range.

    Welcome news then emerged from the Court of Appeal last month with a robust decision, which could sound the death knell for many old “mis-selling” claims.

    In Jacobs v Sesame Ltd the Court of Appeal held that a Claimant, who alleged the “mis-sale” of an investment product entered into in 2005, had constructive knowledge of the material facts such that she would have been able to bring a claim against the Defendant in 2009. As such, she was unable to take advantage of Section 14A of the Limitation Act 1980 (‘‘Section 14A’’) and consequently, her claim for damages was “time-barred” and could not proceed.