Lawyer’s urgent advice to Harlequin investors: “Fast deteriorating situation… No time to lose… safeguard your money” before professional indemnity insurance coverage stops!

“There is no time to lose particularly if you are an investor in Harlequin Property SVG Ltd, Buccament Bay Resort or other Harlequin resort development companies. We strongly recommend that you review your legal position now so that claims can be set in motion to safeguard your money.”

Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors / Risk Warning / Harlequin Investor Group

“Once Harlequin fails, new claims against your financial adviser’s professional indemnity insurance coverage stop. Better file a claim now!”

Marcus Davidoff of Barbados Free Press

Harlequin Resort

Investors who put their faith in Harlequin are still left in a vacuum

Investors clamouring for answers from Harlequin, the beleaguered Essex-based overseas property company, say the silence from the company is conspicuous. This was the overwhelming response to a survey of over 150 investors conducted by Risk Warning, the law firm specialising in class actions on behalf of distressed investors. (Risk Warning was formerly Regulatory Legal)

The key findings of the survey (attached) reveal that –

  • Contractual completion dates for properties they purchased through the Harlequin Property Scheme between 2008-10 were not met by two thirds of those surveyed
  • In cases where mortgages were taken out by investors and Harlequin promised to support the mortgage interest payments, 50% said they were not up to date
  • 40% of investors asked for their money back from Harlequin but only two have had the money returned
  • 45% of investors were told the Harlequin investments were low risk and a further 40% did not receive a description of the investment risk

Since 2006 all the investors surveyed have been paying into the Harlequin scheme by cash, through their pension scheme, or by remortgaging their existing properties. In a fast deteriorating situation surrounding Harlequin, which was to have been the subject of a cancelled BBC Panorama programme on 25th March, developments include –

  • Severe problems with interest payments on borrowings due under the terms of Harlequin’s agreement with investors
  • An FSA alert questioning the suitability of advice given by advisers who recommended Harlequin as an appropriate pension-based investment
  • An investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and Essex Police who are seeking information from investors in Harlequin schemes in the Caribbean and elsewhere
  • The decision by TailorMade Independent (TMI), a leading IFA and Harlequin distributor to stop taking SIPP investments in Harlequin
  • The resignation of Harlequin’s recently appointed accountant, BDO Stoy Hayward

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Risk Warning’s Gareth Fatchett says: ‘What is clear to us is that investors are unnerved by the lack of information from Harlequin, causing fear, doubt and uncertainty about the safety of their investments. We believe that the responses we have had to our survey are indicative for thousands of Harlequin investors up and down the country. We are now pressing ahead with claims on behalf of an additional 20 Harlequin investors seeking refunds due to missed completion dates. We have also set up meetings in Manchester , Birmingham and London this week for investors who are seeking answers to delays with Harlequin projects.’

Mr Fatchett continues: ‘Amongst a whole range of accounting and governance issues, questions we are asking include –

  • Why SIPP investments appear to have been made before the land was owned by Harlequin?
  • Why agents seem not to have confirmed the land position or obtained information on the Caribbean company before they sold the investments?
  • Why due diligence undertaken by SIPP trustees and advisers appears not to have included basic checks into Harlequin’s accounts for their Caribbean companies?

‘There is no time to lose’, urges Mr Fatchett, ‘particularly if you are an investor in Harlequin Property SVG Ltd, Buccament Bay Resort or other Harlequin resort development companies. We strongly recommend that you review your legal position now so that claims can be set in motion to safeguard your money. We are asking investors to complete a short questionnaire and provide relevant information about their Harlequin investments. Risk Warning will review this information to help us determine the next steps, including possible professional indemnity insurance claims.’

Notes for Investors

For more information about the Harlequin Investor Group or the investor meetings in London , Manchester and Birmingham, contact Risk Warning

Phone: 01384 426 400

Email: harlequin@regulatorylegal.co.uk

Website: Harlequin Investor Group

The London investor meeting, being held on Thursday 11th April, is now fully booked, but Risk Warning are going to be running further investor meetings.

The Survey!

In a Microsoft word format 200k: HarlequinSurvey

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments

13 responses to “Lawyer’s urgent advice to Harlequin investors: “Fast deteriorating situation… No time to lose… safeguard your money” before professional indemnity insurance coverage stops!

  1. In the dark

    If Dave Ames is allowed to speak in these meetings and does not ( as usual) stick to a script – he will just ramble and make a fool of himself (again) this IS the last chance for him to pull off the impossible.

    He must do something before its too late & he has not got long, weeks not months……

  2. just want to know

    Where the headlines read HARLEQUIN, it should read CLICO investors. That would be great for the people who invested in that company, don’t you think?

  3. Last call from CPC Worldwide!
    Nikki Crozier announces the closing date of Monday 15th April for Clients wishing to join the class action against Harlequin.
    http://www.propertyproblemsabroad.co.uk
    cpcholding@europe.com
    0191 386 2487

  4. The managing director of CPC Worldwide Ltd, Nikki Crozier, announces closing date of Monday 15th of April for Clients wishing to join the class action against Harlequin.

    Contact details:

    http://www.propertyproblemsabroad.co.uk

    email: cpcholding@europe.com

    Phone number: 0191 386 2487

  5. JUST TEAR IT DOWN

    The malingering edifice along the South Coast boardwalk is the public’s best barometer of Harlequin action or inaction.
    Depends on the week…sorry month.

    It sits there looking forlorn. I keep an eye on the re-bar workings out front. That’s my personal gauge. Easy to see. Nothing’s been done in weeks. Clearly this is a project in big trouble, with “work being done” in dribbles and drabbles.

    It ain’t goin NOwharrr!

  6. Truthseeker

    There are rumours that Panorama’s Paul Kenyon has been sacked following the farce over the Harlequin episode.

  7. Short Legs

    CPC are not actually a firm of solicitors, they put you in contact with one, not saying that is wrong- but they will no doubt get a cut for doing the sales bit?
    Why not just deal direct? please correct me if I am wrong.

  8. Exposed!

    Why would you do that? so they are not even a proper ambulance chaser? so WTF are they then? CPS please comment?

  9. Short Legs

    @Exposed!
    They will get a slice of the £2400 up front fee for the 20-30 they want to have before taking the case on, good money after bad?????

    Maybe they would like to comment?

  10. nikki

    Dear shortlegs , you can of course go directly to our legal team . The fees are the same as quoted on the letter .so with or without us the cost is identical .
    (spend a little more time worrying about your investment and less about my salary ) At least with us you get what you pay for !!!!!

  11. Short Legs

    So can you confirm that you are NOT A SOLICITOR, stop bull****g and answer the question.

    Mind you your reply has answered it, no solicitor would reply in such a unprofessional way? 😉

  12. Fatchett does not represent me.

    @Short legs, if you go onto the other forum Nikki Crozier is climbing all over it. She is not an investor but is doing everything to drum up business. Her fawning over Erica is embarrassing. This is ambulance chasing at its most blatant. Whether you agree/disagree, like/dislike DA he is trying to dig HP out of a hole. Does a class action help. I would think not, but who cares when there is money to be made.

  13. Juliet

    Anybody know what Nikki looks like? Would be interesting to know if it is the same person that I ran into in Torrevieja…?!