Former Newcastle United players launch legal action over mis-sold pensions

Seven former Newcastle United footballers have launched a High Court battle over mis-sold pensions and investments, claiming to have lost almost £3m on pension investments.

The former players, who include Robert Lee, Warren Barton and John Beresford, contend that they were mis-sold pensions and given poor advice on pension investments, with some individuals losing up to £850,000 and being forced to sell their family homes.

The retired footballers are being represented by High Street Solicitors and claim they were dishonestly advised to sink their pensions in investments which are deemed to be high risk - something the claimants say they were not aware of.

The retired footballers are suing financial guru Kevin Neal, along with James Hay Administration Company Limited, James Hay Pension Trustees Limited, AJ Bell Management Limited, AJ Bell (PP) Trustees Limited, Westerby Trustees Services Limited, Standard Life Assurance Limited, Standard Life Trustee Company Limited, Curtis Banks Limited, Colston Trustees Limited, Rowanmoor Executive Pensions Limited, Rowanmoor Trustees Limited, Suffolk Life Pensions Limited and Suffolk Life Trustees Limited.

Neal was a director of multiple now defunct financial advisory firms, with Kevin Neal Associates Limited having gone into liquidation and Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management having been dissolved.

He was previously sued by Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, who received a £100,000 settlement in 2019.

Mandy Howarth, a solicitor at High Street Solicitors, said: “The pension losses suffered by Rob and the others in this case were, in my opinion, preventable. The Financial Conduct Authority has regulations and guidance in place as a means of ensuring firms authorised by them meet industry standards.

“This ensures, as best it can, consumers are protected in circumstances like these. Unfortunately, however, our clients were let down by their financial adviser, pension operators and trustees and the alleged failures to meet such standards. Their pensions should never have been exposed to such high-risk investments.”

She added that the firm was currently acting on behalf of “a large number of clients who have been similarly advised and lost their entire pensions”, adding that there were many more people out there who had suffered the same fate but were “still not aware of the loss or significant risk of loss to their pensions”.

Howarth concluded: “We have every confidence that we will succeed in reaching a positive outcome for Rob, Warren, John and the others and obtain the monies they have lost, and whilst this won’t eliminate the worry and anxiety they have endured so far, it will offer them the comfort that they will be able to retire when the time comes.”

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