Rescue fund proposal for Knight Williams losers

NIC CICUTTI

Lawyers acting for hundreds of savers who lost money through failed financial adviser Knight Williams yesterday said the financial services industry should set up a rescue fund for clients.

Neil Micklethwaite, head of commercial litigation in the City law firm Dibb Lupton Broomhead, said every legal avenue would be explored to win justice for the savers.

But he argued that time was - literally - running out for many of the mainly elderly savers involved in the Knight Williams Action Group.

Mr Micklethwaite raised the possibility of the City's senior watchdog, the Securities and Investments Authority, or other sectors of the financial industry, setting up an independent fund to help the savers.

The fund would be similar , he suggested, to that of the Investors Compensation Scheme, the industry's own lifebelt. The ICS has said it is unable to prioritise the Knight Williams investors over the heads of equally desperate claimants.

Knight Williams & Co, which went into liquidation in July, claimed to be a retirement specialist. Its savers argue they were told their money would be safe, and that neither the risks of equity investments or the unusually high management charges on their funds were ever properly explained to them.

Kenneth Jordan, one of the action group's founder members, said: "I am in my 70s. Time is not on our side, members of our group are going down without getting any results from their claims for compensation."

Mr Micklethwaite admitted that drawn-out legal action may not be the best option. His suggestion of a special levy for the investors came despite, as he acknowledged, the relative failure of similar efforts in the City, including the fund for Maxwell pensioners.

Options under consideration by his firm include taking legal action against Knight Williams directors and others who contributed to the financial losses suffered by the savers. Using the law to force the SIB to take tougher action against Knight Williams, or disqualify their directors and staff from working in the financial industry again, was also not ruled out.

Other possible moves, such as forcing the investment management regulator, Imro, to take disciplinary action against one of the Knight Williams web of companies which is still trading, will be examined.

Neil Cooper, partner at chartered accountants Robson Rhodes, said his firm had also agreed to offer its services for free. A Robson Rhodes team will be helping the investors to prepare their case before the liquidator, so that they may be admitted as creditors of the Knight Williams company that failed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum