Tag Archives: Regulatory Legal Solicitors

Harlequin Legal Survey – Results to be published here

Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors

Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors

Lawyer Gareth Fatchett and Regulatory Legal Solicitors are conducting a survey of Harlequin ‘investors’. The results will be published here at Barbados Free Press, and we understand that Mr. Fatchett will be making additional recommendations based on the results.

We encourage readers to head on over and take a look, and then make your own decisions.

After all, we at BFP didn’t invest in Harlequin and I can’t say we know of any Bajans who did. That might have been a flag for foreign investors or a question they might have asked. Too late now to ask “Have any locals invested?”, but next time maybe!

Harlequin Investor Survey

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Hope for some Harlequin victims? Investment victims’ lawyer going after Harlequin agents who misled about protection of funds

Harlequin & David Ames: Knew sales agents were lying to investors.

Harlequin & David Ames: Knew sales agents were lying to investors.

“After learning that some of his agents were misleading investors, did Ames and Harlequin take steps to alert investors? Now there is a question.”

Some agents and financial advisers selling Harlequin Property pre-March 2009 were telling clients that their investments were protected in a solicitor’s client account. This according to the UK law office representing a group of disgruntled Harlequin investors.

Gareth Fatchett... Pit Bull, lawyer or both?

Gareth Fatchett… Pit Bull, lawyer or both?

Talking to Barbados Free Press, Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal Solicitors explained “It is clear that Harlequin identified instances where agents were telling people that a solicitors client account was being used to protect their monies.“

Mr. Fatchett also provided a clue that his law office intends to go after agents who lied to prospective investors, saying, “Many agents think that by using a limited company they can absolve themselves personally of any liability for a statement made either fraudulently or recklessly. It is clear that some agents / financial advisers made statements which were plainly untrue.  English law makes provision for limited liability protection to be removed when grossly reckless statements are made.”

Regulatory Legal Solicitors are reviewing advice files for investors who are concerned that they have been misled by agents. Mr. Fatchett is also looking closely at advice given by advisers, financial advisers and pension advisers.

Dave Ames and Harlequin knew agents were misleading prospective investors!

In a March 24, 2009 “Policy Statement”  from Harlequin to agents, Dave Ames told his agents to stop the practice, saying “I am aware that some agents have been suggesting to investors that we do ring fence the payments and this has to stop immediately to avoid investors being misled.” and “It is also not true to say that investors’ money is held in a solicitor’s client account.” (PDF of Ames’ statement here)

While it is shocking is that Harlequin’s Dave Ames was apparently aware that some of his agents were misleading investors, the natural question is: What did Ames do after learning of the lies? After learning that some of his agents were misleading investors, did Ames and Harlequin take steps to alert investors? Now there is a question!

No reply from Harlequin or Dave Ames    Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Harlequin Properties stunner! “No agent confirmed Harlequin’s land holdings or company information” SIPP-Pension investors advised to act immediately

Harlequin Resort

“…the due diligence undertaken was the brochures, sale presentations and (free) trips to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“SIPP Investors / Pension Transfers would be foolhardy to wait as Professional Indemnity Insurance stops immediately upon an insolvency procedure.”

Regulatory Legal Solicitors special report posted on Barbados Free Press

Harlequin investors are sure to be flabbergasted by today’s posting at Barbados Free Press by UK law firm Regulatory Legal Solicitors and their leading lawyer Gareth Fatchett. Mr. Fatchett was in the news lately as he was successful in achieving some kind of settlement for a handful of Harlequin victims.

Today’s Regulatory Legal Solicitors posting alleges that none of the agents advising folks to invest in Harlequin took the trouble to confirm that Harlequin actually held the land it was selling. No sales agent went to the trouble of obtaining company information about Harlequin’s Caribbean operations. And if you want to talk about “Due Diligence”, the agents confined their research to brochures, Harlequin sales presentations and (presumably free) trips to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Throw in free drinks and a few “hostesses” and Bob’s your uncle… the agents were ready to sell Harlequin and at a tempting 30% commission at that. (Not that we’ve heard of Harlequin doing the “hostesses” thing, but this is the Caribbean ya know!)

Master Agent suspends Harlequin sales

The master agent has apparently stopped selling Harlequin so we’ll have more on that in a bit. That sounds important to us because once the sales stop, how can Harlequin sustain current operations even if they scale back? We’re not even talking about building and new construction, just keeping the place open. There’s no staff worth talking about at the Barbados operations, and that is worth thinking about. Was the master agent “TailorMade” ? Can someone advise? See IFA Online’s article Harlequin distributor pulls plug on new investment.

Mr. Fatchett advises SIPP Investors and Pension Transfers to take action immediately because if Harlequin goes insolvent, that is the the end of Professional Indemnity Insurance. Complain now and if it all goes for a fall, the agents’ insurance might cover something. Wait… and, well, the lawyer doesn’t say other than the agents’ indemnity insurance ends but you can read between the lines for yourself. The post also provides advice for other classes of Harlequin investors, so have a read and make up your own mind, folks!

Discussion in the Comments Section

We’re going to make this post the current place at BFP to discuss the Harlequin situation, so join in and please remember to be respectful to each other and also watch the language, okay?

To keep all current discussion in one place, we’re also going to close off comments on previous articles and direct people here. That will take some time so please be patient.

Marcus @ BFP

As posted at Barbados Free Press by Regulatory Legal Solicitors…

Following the court hearing last Thursday, we are now in a position where we understand the full extent of the land holdings and build costs for the various Harlequin projects.

The court hearing last week resulted in a settlement for our clients. The terms of which are confidential.

A few things are very clear :-

1. No agent went to the trouble of obtaining confirmation as to the land position.
2. No agent went to the trouble of obtaining Caribbean company information.
3. Some of the SIPP providers in the main relied on an external due diligence process in 2010 & 2011. We have confirmation

We have both the land acquisition schedule and an affidavit from the new Harlequin accountant setting out the build costs etc. We are currently running the maths to work out.

HMSSE turnover 2006 – 2011
-less land acquisition costs
-less commissions
-less building costs
-less overheads

This should give us an indication of the actual position of the group. There is no evidence of external investors (into the equity of the business) and no evidence of any development finance.

Once again we find it remarkable that agents / IFA’s / SIPP’s have not seen this. These are accounting basics.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

Press release from Regulatory Legal Solicitors regarding Harlequin freezing order

Regulatory Legal Solicitors have seen much comment and speculation about the litigation issued at the High Court in Birmingham last week.

The case was brought on behalf of 10 individuals under case reference 3BM30141 on Wednesday 6th March 2013. Within the substantive proceedings an application for a freezing order was made. The freezing order application was listed on the 7th March 2013 at 2pm.

The judge postponed the hearing of the application until the 14th March 2013. The Claimants asked for an interim order for 7 days until the hearing on the 14th March 2013. This interim application was not granted by the court. The parties reached an agreement on the 8th March 2013. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Procedurally, the Claimants lawyers  will appear before the court on the 14th March 2013 to obtain an order from the court finalising proceedings.

“We have seen significant comment on this matter, most of which is wrong. This is of no benefit to us, Harlequin or those reading the inaccuracies. “

“This statement sets out the procedural position. We have no further comment on this matter”

Barbados Free Press received the above from Gareth Fatchett on Monday March 11, 2013.

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