Our blog in April 2015 detailed the case against Davis Ames, chairman of Harlequin Properties, who has been ordered to pay £1m in compensation to his investors. Now Harlequin Properties is seeking damages of its own, having taken its accountancy firm to court, claiming a total of £50m.
Harlequin Properties’ claim against its accountants – Wilkins Kennedy – is down to what they believe to be ‘professional negligence’. The case is linked to a 2014 instance when the property business was awarded £1.4m after the High Court found its construction firm ICE Group to have misappropriated funds. Now Harlequin Properties alleges its accountancy firm had advised them to give ICE Group a building contract without declaring that ICE Group was also a Wilkins Kennedy client.
Latest News on Harlequin Property
The forthcoming court case involving Wilkins Kennedy is the latest in an ongoing saga for Harlequin Properties. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has already paid out over £60m to investors over bad advice from financial advisory firms. These include TailorMade Independent and 1 Stop, both of whom advised clients regarding Harlequin Property investments via a SIPP, even though such investments were not of benefit to the clients in question.
In many cases, Harlequin hotels and resorts used investors’ money to fund their overseas properties, rather than through banking business loans. Such an unregulated scheme carried risks from the very start, and a lack of returns for investors put the company in liquidation, under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and left thousands of Harlequin investors in debt.
Harlequins Properties’ allegations against its accountants has been denied by Wilkins Kennedy. The SFO has received evidence from the accountancy firm, which will also appear during proceedings in the court case.
Harlequin Properties is just one investment mis-selling case that we have dealt with over the past few years. If you have invested in an unregulated financial scheme, via a SIPP, mortgage or otherwise and have subsequently lost out financially, TLW Solicitors may be able to help on a no-win, no-fee basis.
We may even be able to help if the firm you invested in is no longer trading.
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