Stephen Kosmin and Leo Davidson successfully defend Financial Ombudsman Service in SIPP transfer case


On 28 March 2022, Mr Justice Sweeting dismissed a claim by Portal Financial Services LLP (“Portal”) against the Financial Ombudsman Service. Stephen Kosmin and Leo Davidson were instructed by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Portal had challenged 27 final decisions of the Ombudsman Service.  The final decisions concerned complaints arising from the adequacy of Portal’s due diligence when advising members of occupational and personal pension schemes to transfer sums away from their existing pension arrangements.  A second regulated firm had thereafter advised the individuals to invest those funds in high-risk unregulated collective investment schemes within SIPP wrappers. 

Mr Justice Sweeting considered industry alerts circulated by the Financial Services Authority (now the FCA) in 2013 and 2014, the overarching “Principles of Businesses”, and provisions of the “Conduct of Business Sourcebook” section of the FCA Handbook.  He also relied extensively on Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Ltd v Financial Ombudsman Service Ltd [2019] Bus LR 437, in which Stephen Kosmin had previously successfully represented the Financial Ombudsman Service.

A copy of the judgment can be accessed here.