Our Financial Negligence Services
Financial Advisor Negligence covers bad or poor or inappropriate financial advice which has caused you to suffer loss. Turner Freeman’s experienced litigation team can provide quality legal advice and guidance when the following situations arise from negligent financial advisors:
- Recommending inappropriate financial products or investments;
- Failing to undertake due diligence of the financial products or investments which have been recommended;
- Failing to undertake an appropriate investor risk profile prior to recommending financial products or investments;
- Recommending high risk or excessively risky financial products and investments which also give the financial advisor a strong or healthy commission or fee when such products conflict with your investor risk profile;
- Recommending that you take out a margin loan when it is inappropriate having regard to all of your financial circumstances, investment objectives and investor risk profile;
- Recommending that you invest in long term, long tail agriculture investment products which are risky or high risk and unlikely to provide you with a healthy return on your investment;
- Agreeing to provide advice regarding insurance such as income protection, business insurance, trauma insurance, death and permanent disability insurance and recommending an inappropriate or inadequate cover having regard to all of your circumstances;
- Recommending older investors to borrow at or near retirement;
- Recommending investors to borrow on their home and using that money to purchase shares that become the ‘equity’ in a margin loan;
- Recommending investments which are risky when investors have been assured they were safe; or
- Recommending all or the substantial sum of investment in one product i.e. having too many eggs in the one basket rather than having an appropriately balanced and mixed investment portfolio and strategy.
Do I have a claim?
Can I claim for Financial Advisor negligence?
If you have received financial advice which has caused you to suffer a loss, you may have a claim. Not everyone who suffers a financial loss from acting on or following the advice of their financial advisor will have a successful claim. The advice needs to be negligent. We need to be able to prove that your financial advisor breached the duty of care which they owed to you and that you have suffered financial loss directly as a consequence of the breach of duty of case.
Usually, financial advisors will undertake a risk profile of their clients before any investments are recommended or strategies are implemented. However, some key issues are whether the risk profiling was done properly and whether the investments recommended were in keeping with an appropriate and correct investor risk profile.
If your financial advisor has acted on a commission basis and if you have been pushed towards or into a financial product or investment which gives your financial advisor a significant commission rather than recommending financial or investment products which are in your best interests and most suited to your objectives and investor risk profile, you may have a strong claim.
If your financial advisor was responsible for advising you on appropriate insurance such as income protection, trauma insurance, death and/or permanent disability insurance and you have needed to claim on the policy and the claim has been rejected or if inadequate insurance cover has been recommended, you may also have a strong claim.
Do I need to see a lawyer?
If you have financial loss due to bad or poor or inappropriate financial advice and if you wish to find out if your claim is worthwhile to pursue, the short answer is yes. In reality and from our experience from seeing first hand the bad outcomes that people achieve without lawyers, the answer is absolutely yes.
How can a lawyer help me with my claim?
A good lawyer will focus on whether he or she can justify their involvement in the case so that you can be confident that the benefits of using a lawyer will outweigh or far outweigh the legal costs. This is our focus from day one to the end of your claim.
I have suffered financial loss due to bad or poor or inappropriate financial advice. What can I do? What should I do?
Suffered loss due to bad financial advice
You may have a good claim subject to investigations being carried out which we would be happy to do for you at no obligation.
Seek legal advice early because strict time limits apply.
Are there any time limits for making a claim and what are they?
Time limits for making a claim
Strict time limits do apply. Please read the following time limit advice very carefully.
Commencement Court Proceedings
You have six years from when you suffered the financial loss to commence court proceedings. If you miss this time limit, your rights to pursue damages or proper compensation will be or is most likely to be lost forever.
The benefit of engaging a lawyer to look after you and your claim is that it immediately becomes the responsibility of your lawyer to take care of the time limits and to make sure the documents are lodged or filed on time.
What if I have suffered only minor financial loss? What should I do? What can I do?
I only suffered minor loss
If you have suffered minor or very minor financial loss it may or probably won't be worthwhile for you to take further action if court proceedings are necessary to resolve the matter. We try to avoid being involved in cases where the legal costs are likely to erode the value or impact significantly on the result.
However, your first consultation with us is free so we advise all our clients and potential clients to seek the advice and at the earliest possible time to remove any doubt or worry about your rights or where you stand.
What can I claim for? What am I entitled to receive?
What can I claim for?
The aim and objective of the claim and the legal system is to place you back the same or similar financial position you would be in right now had your financial advisor not been negligent.
In other words, but for the negligence of your financial advisor, what would be your financial position right now? The assessment or calculation of the compensation involves some degree of estimation and speculation and this is why expert legal advice is critical which is where we can assist as have the experience and expertise.
We can advise you in greater detail about precisely what you can and can't claim for when we are across all the facts and the evidence regarding your claim.
If I go ahead with a claim, how long will it take and how much will it cost?
How long will my claim take and what will it cost?
If we advise you that you have reasonable prospects of success and that the claim is economically worthwhile to purse, we will send you a proper written advice and a proposal. Our proposal will set out, in plain English, a realistic estimate of how long we believe your case will take to resolve and the likely cost.
Generally speaking, most claims are able to be resolved within 6 to 18 months from when the claim starts. If the case goes to trial (which is highly unlikely) this can add a further 6 to 12 months to the time estimate.
If your case has to go to court, it will cost more than if it settles at an early stage. The more work which is done results in higher fees; however, we are always doing whatever we can to keep costs as low as possible. All of this is explained in our written advice along with realistic and reliable fee estimates.
Turner Freeman Lawyers costs
Our fee estimates are usually lower than our competitors from our past experience.
This is because our No Win No Fee service means we do not require you to pay the expenses of the matter even if your case loses – for instance for obtaining medical reports or the charges of other experts.
All firms who offer a No Win No Fee service must ensure that their final fees do not exceed what the client recovers. The guarantee applies to any settlement or judgment. Under the guarantee, statutory refunds and expenses are deducted, and from the net remaining the lawyer's fees can never be more than half. The lawyer's fees are capped. This is especially important for small claims, but it must be remembered that this guarantee does not work as a 'percentage' or 'cut' of any settlement or judgment. It is a cap. If your case settles for $800,000 after refunds and expenses, and your legal fees with us under our rates scale are $60,000, we do not apply the cap. The cap would result in legal fees being $400,000. In these circumstances and naturally, we would charge $60,000.
The cap applies even if your case does not settle and it proceeds to trial, which is highly unlikely. In our experience 98% to 99% of cases we run are capable of resolution or settlement prior to trial.
Will my case go to court or will it settle?
Will my case go to court or will it settle?
In our experience over the past 60 years, very few cases end up in court. It is only something like 1% to 2% of all of our cases proceed to trial or end up in a court room. This is very small number which is good for everyone, especially our clients.
Very few of these cases require court supervision and the vast majority of these claims are capable of early resolution. This is what we aim to achieve as it keeps the legal costs down and maximises your 'in hand' outcome.
Regrettably, not all cases settle and we have a significant amount of court room and trial experience so in the highly unlikely event that your case does go to court, we have the skill, experience and expertise to take the matter all the way if necessary.