It said it has notified the courts of 30 cases, which it will seek to consolidate, but it claims it has up to 700 more investors who say they have suffered significant losses as a result of unregulated pension investments through Liberty Sipp.
In April, Liberty Sipp reported it had increased its assets under management by more than a billion pounds for the second year in a row.
According to its report, the Manchester-based provider now has £2.64bn (€3bn, $3.7bn) of client assets under administration, a £1.2bn (84%) increase on April 2017.
APJ’s claimants allege Sipps were invested by the provider into a range of schemes, including Ethical Forestry and Global, following introductions from an unregulated introducer that is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Glyn Taylor, solicitor at APJ said: “Liberty Sipp has frequently argued that only a small proportion of legacy investors have lost money through unregulated Sipp investments, however from the cases we have on our books at the moment, we estimate that as many as 10% of Liberty’s investors have been affected and we believe there could be many more.
“Through this action we hope to establish that Liberty Sipp acted unlawfully when it received introductions from an unregulated introducer and by accepting high risk, speculative, risky and illiquid investments, Liberty Sipp breached their obligation to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interest of their customers as set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Conduct of Business rules,” Taylor said.
Liberty Sipp has hit back at APJ, with its managing director John Fox telling International Adviser it has never offered financial advice on the execution-only investments.
“Sipp providers are never regulated to do this, and at no time have regulators required Sipp providers to gauge the suitability of these kinds of investments for specific individuals.
“We look forward to finally being able to lay those misapprehensions to rest,” Fox said.