Save, make, understand money

Experienced Investor

Law firm receives more than 500 enquiries from Woodford investors

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Leigh Day is investigating a potential legal claim against Hargreaves Lansdown on behalf of investors who lost money following the collapse of Woodford Investment Management.

Leigh Day has received more than 500 enquiries from people who invested in Woodford via investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown less than two weeks after the law firm announced it was considering pursuing a case.

The consumer law team at Leigh Day believe that Hargreaves Lansdown either knew or should have known that Woodford Funds, in particular the Woodford Equity Income Fund, were in trouble.

The team is investigating whether Hargreaves Lansdown misrepresented the health of the Woodford Equity Income Fund whilst continuing to recommend it, resulting in significant losses for the firm’s clients.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells, head of the consumer law team at Leigh Day, said: “Many of the investors who have contacted Leigh Day have together several million pounds locked in the suspended Woodford Funds. They are very angry that they may have been misled by Hargreaves Lansdown and that significant parts of their life savings and pensions have been lost.

“Some are particularly aggrieved because they raised concerns about the fund with Hargreaves Lansdown financial advisors but were told that Woodford remained a sound investment and were persuaded not to withdraw from the fund.”

The relationship between Hargreaves Lansdown and the Woodford Investment Management has been called into question because Hargreaves Lansdown upgraded and continued to include the Woodford Equity Income Fund in its Wealth 50 list of recommended funds, up until the fund was suspended in June 2019.

At the same time, reports suggest that since November 2017 Hargreaves Lansdown had raised concerns about the liquidity of the Equity Income Fund with Woodford Investment Management.

“The more we look at this the stronger our conviction becomes to take this forward. We believe that Hargreaves Lansdown’s continued promotion of Woodford Funds showed a cynical disregard for their customers whose life savings and pensions have been put at risk,” said Bozena.

The consumer law team at Leigh Day are looking at a claim on behalf of investors in all three of the Woodford Funds: Equity Income, Income Focus and Patient Capital.

It is aiming to help Hargreaves Lansdown customers who followed Hargreaves Lansdown advice and recommendations, or used Hargreaves Lansdown portfolio management service, to recover their lost investment plus compensation for the distress and inconvenience suffered.