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Woodford case heads for court

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

A law firm has started legal proceedings against Link Fund Solutions regarding losses suffered by investors in the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF).

Leigh Day has issued a claim form on behalf of an initial group of 100 WEIF investors to begin the action to recover their losses.

This step follows a detailed and extensive letter before action and significant pre-action correspondence which Leigh Day has had with Link’s lawyers, Clifford Chance. Link plans to defend the claims.

The case has now reached a stage where the legal team for the investors feel it has become necessary to issue proceedings to trigger a court timetable and take the matter through to trial as speedily as possible.

The Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended in June 2019 following an increase in redemption requests which couldn’t be readily met. In October 2019, Link confirmed the £3bn fund would be wound-up with cash returned to investors as soon as possible. But in August 2021, Link said investors wouldn’t get their money back until 2022.

Leigh Day is currently instructed by more than 11,000 claimants. The firm will be issuing proceedings on a rolling basis for all of its clients. It will seek to consolidate the claims under a Group Litigation Order, where the risks, costs and benefits of the group action can be shared by all the claimants on the group action register.

Boz Michalowska, partner at law firm Leigh Day, said: “This is a big step forward in the legal action which we hope will allow investors of the Woodford Equity Income Fund to get justice and their hard-earned pensions and savings returned to them.”

The legal action brought on behalf of investors by Leigh Day is against Link as the fund’s authorised corporate director, which oversaw the WEIF on behalf of those individuals who invested in the fund.

The claims made by Leigh Day on behalf of investors are that Link was in breach of FCA rules in the way it managed and monitored the fund, and this ultimately led to the fund’s collapse, causing ordinary investors loss and damage. Leigh Day’s aim is to secure compensation for the people affected.