The Group Litigation Order for the case of 77 investors versus Berkeley Burke is ‘desirable’, Judge Russen QC ruled.
The individual SIPP investments made by the existing claimants range from about £6,000 to £160,000.
If a group action went ahead and is publicised there “might be around 200 claimants in total, and quite possibly considerably more”, the judgement stated.
The claims “arise out of the alleged ‘mis-selling’” of SIPPS to existing pension holders who each transferred the value of their existing plans into such a SIPP having been introduced to Berkeley Burke by one of nine ‘Relevant Introducers’.
The details came through recently released decision papers from the court.
The claimants referred ‘single asset SIPPs’, on the basis that most of the investor’s money apart from a sum set aside for operator’s fees was used to make an onward investment in a single underlying asset.
The firm does not accept that every SIPP was single-asset in nature.
The claimants argued the SIPP investments were made in circumstances which triggered liability because the Relevant Introducers were not authorised to carry on a regulated activity under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. They also alleged breaches of COBS rules.
Judge Russen approved the bid for group action but said he needed to secure consent of the president of the Queen’s Bench Division before he could confirm it could go ahead.