Law firm launches High Court case for ex-footballers over mis-sold pensions claims

Seven former Premier League and international footballers have launched a High Court battle over allegedly mis-sold pensions and investments.

Among 13 companies being sued are two subsidiaries of Manchester-based investment platform, AJ Bell.

All the former players are being represented by Liverpool-based law firm High Street Solicitors.

They include former Oldham player Robert Lee, John Beresford, who was on Manchester City’s books between 1983 and 1986, and Warren Barton, who was a first team regular with Wimbledon and Newcastle United.

High Street Solicitors is now representing the retired footballers who claim they were ill-advised by financial guru Kevin Neal, who was a director of a number of now defunct financial advisory firms.

Kevin Neal Associates Limited has gone into liquidation and Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management has been dissolved.

Neal was also previously sued by Newcastle United and England player Alan Shearer. A £100,000 settlement was made to Shearer in 2019.

The retired footballers are suing Kevin Neal, along with 13 other companies: 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.

They claim they were mis-sold pensions and given poor advice on pension investments that amounted to almost £3m, with some individuals losing up to £850,000 and being forced to sell their family homes.

They say they were advised to invest their pensions in investments which were deemed to be high risk – something none of the claimants say they were aware of.

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 FCA 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 advisor, 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: “The losses our clients have suffered are far too commonplace.

“High Street Solicitors are currently acting on behalf of a large number of clients who have been similarly advised and lost their entire pensions.

“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.”

High Street Solicitors has been serving its clients for more than a decade and specialises in mis-sold investments, pensions and mortgages as well as several other areas of law.

AJ Bell declined to comment.