Misselling claims concerning a wide variety of financial products form a substantial part of Peter’s practice. In recent years, Peter has appeared perhaps more often than any other member of the Bar at hearings concerning a claimant’s date of knowledge for limitation purposes in the context of financial advice, including in the Court of Appeal in Jacobs v Sesame Ltd.
Background in investment management
Peter began his career in financial services at a leading investment bank as one of a team of three advising two Guernsey based unit trusts on investment in commodities and natural resource shares worldwide. The trusts invested in hard and soft commodities on markets including the London Bullion Market, the London Metal Exchange, the London Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. The team also advised private clients on investment in gold and precious metals shares and managed a UK authorised unit trust in the oil and gas sector.
Peter then joined the bank’s Institutional Funds Department where he managed UK equity and fixed interest portfolios on behalf of pension funds, charities, two quoted investment trusts and an authorised unit trust in the income sector. He also advised building societies and local authorities on their holdings of short-term money market instruments.
During his time in the City, Peter completed the London Business School’s Investment Management Programme and was awarded the Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Banks, Building Societies and other institutions
On starting in practice at the Bar, Peter joined a set of chambers at 11 Old Square which was often referred to as “the building society set” and which later merged to form Radcliffe Chambers. A significant proportion of Peter’s work consisted of litigation concerning the enforcement of mortgages and bank guarantees. He acted on numerous occasions for a life assurance office in claims for the recovery of advance commission paid to members of its sales force. More recently, in 2014, he appeared for the lender in the Court of Appeal in Graves v Capital Home Loans Ltd, one of a limited number of authorities considering the unfair relationships provisions of the Consumer Credit Act in the context of mortgage enforcement.
Misselling claims in which Peter has acted in recent years have concerned interest rate hedging products (including issues of consequential loss under the FCA’s IRHP Review), collective investment schemes (both onshore and offshore and often involving geared property investments), investment bonds, structured deposits and other structured products, mortgages, pension transfers and a variety of esoteric, anomalous and sometimes fraudulent products (often purchased through the medium of a SIPP).
Issues of principle arising in claims in which Peter has acted have included the distinction between the provision of information and the giving of advice, the extent of the liability of firms for the acts and omissions of their appointed representatives (whether under section 39 of FSMA or the common law of agency) and the extent of the responsibilities of SIPP operators when facilitating unsuitable or detrimental SIPPs.
Peter has acted in matters concerning the scope of the FOS jurisdiction in cases pre-dating FSMA and the responsibilities of IFAs under the Pensions Review. He appeared before the FSA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee and the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal (now part of the Tax and Chancery Chamber of the Upper Tribunal). He has advised on the handling of complaints relating to the administration of life assurance products (including pension products).
COMBAR has produced a series of detailed papers explaining the potential effect of Brexit on various areas of commercial legal practice. Peter is one of the authors of the paper on Financial Services, contributing to chapters on the Mortgage Credit Directive 2014/17/EU (in so far as it affects mortgage brokers and intermediaries) and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive 2011/61/EU. Click here to read the COMBAR Brexit Papers.
Cases (click on the case name to read the Lawtel case summary or equivalent)
Flex-E-Vouchers Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland plc  EWHC 2604 (QB)
Anderson v Openwork Ltd  EW Misc B14
Jacobs v Sesame Ltd  EWCA Civ 1410;  P.N.L.R. 6
Evans v Santander UK plc  EW Misc B55
Graves v Capital Home Loans Ltd  CTLC 233 (CA)
Williamson v Governor of the Bank of Scotland  EWHC 1289 (Ch),  BPIR 1085
Rayner v The Financial Services Authority  UKFSM FSM009
The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman’s first full year: ten bullet points (LinkedIn: Published on June 6, 2017) The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) jurisdiction has been in place since November 2015. What sort of complaints has it been receiving? And how has it been dealing with them? Click here to read Peter’s article on LinkedIn.
Consequential loss exclusions in financial misselling claims (Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, May 2017). Star Polaris LLC v HHIC-PHIL Inc  EWHC 2941 is the latest decision in two conflicting lines of authority on what is meant by the expression “consequential loss” in the context of exclusion clauses. This article analyses Star Polaris and considers the categorisation of losses arising from the misselling of financial products. Click here to read it on LexisLibrary.
Can ‘active cash’ really beat the Stock Market? (LinkedIn: Published on June 19, 2016) If there is less opportunity cost to holding cash than is often supposed, how might that affect assessments of the suitability of other products? Click here to read Peter’s article on LinkedIn.
Consumer Credit: a timetable for reform (2006) 124LAW (4) 10 (124 Law Ltd)
Current seminars and webinars
20 April 2017 – Mortgages in 2017. Peter co-presented this LexisNexis webinar. The topics included (i) further advances and “tacking” (the “Black Ant” case) and (ii) the Mortgage Credit Directive and the potential effect of Brexit. The webinar is still available: click here for a YouTube preview or here to purchase.
14 March 2017 – Financial Regulation After Brexit. Peter was one of the speakers at a COMBAR seminar, the panel being drawn from the authors of the COMBAR Financial Services Sub-Group’s Brexit report. Click here to read the full report.
28 February 2017 – Chancery Limitation Periods. Peter and Andrew Brown presented this seminar for the Chancery Bar Association New Practitioners Programme. Peter’s case studies and source materials are available online here (login required).
18 March 2016 – The Latest in mortgages (LexisNexis Webinars)
Claims for Mortgage Mis-selling – In One Hour (MBL) (Webinar and DVD: click here for further details or to book)
Financial Mis-selling & Limitation (Webinar & DVD) (MBL) (Webinar and DVD: click here to view details or to book)
Financial Services Lawyers Association (FSLA)