Please note: We cannot provide further updates over the telephone. If you have any specific queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Reference Number and query and one of the Senior Team will respond within 72 hours.Legal Quest plc, as well as all of our prospective MSC claimants are anxious to move matters forward and commence the actual actions. However, as we have stated since we started on this momentous task, the sheer size of the proposed actions, as well as the fact we are planning to file the claims against mainstream UK lenders, who have substantial legal and financial resources, makes this one of the largest planned actions ever contemplated. Following our attendance in December last year, at the Leeds District Court, where we acted as Part 35 Experts on mortgage securitisation matters, the barrister advised us that, in his opinion, the best course of action for our claimants, was to file individual claims as a preliminary step, before proceeding to the planned Group Litigation Order (GLO), which is still a possible requirement, if the new initial individual actions are not successful. We received a formal legal opinion from the barrister early March 2019 and, based on the opinion, have revised our business plans to move forwards with an individual ‘damages based’ claim for each of our clients. The first of these will be for clients whose mortgage loan was with seven of the mainstream UK lenders, where the evidence is almost absolute, with all the other potential claims being placed into the second and third rounds of filings. The provisional filing date for the first group of MSC’s is December 2019, with an expectation that the number of claims will be significantly higher than the current book, giving us a much better chance of a successful settlement, based solely on the volume of work each lender will need to undertake, responding to the thousand’s of individual claims we expect to file. To be able to undertake this level of legal and administrative work, we have recently separated Camellus Law from Legal Quest plc and, reformed it as a separate legal entity to keep the legal aspects apart from the audit and administrative matters for each claim. The funding and operational requirements for both Legal Quest plc and Camellus Law LLP are being arranged, together with the availability of legal expenses/disbursement funding for each claim. This will enable the claims to proceed without any further cost to the clients, until a successful settlement or award is achieved. The ‘value’ of any potential ‘win’ is now able to be stated at not less than 30% up to the original 70% previously advertised. We are currently waiting for the final submissions to the Insurance providers to be negotiated which, subject to their approval, will allow meetings to be arranged with at least 3 legal expenses and litigation funders. Each has been provided with the details of our requirements and expressed interest subject to the details of the insurance. In order that we can finalise the details of the funding aspects agreements between various parties have to completed. We fully expect that these meetings will be successful and that an agreement will be reached in the near future, the current time scale is hopefully by end of June or early July 2019. Now, In regards to the Law Firm who were planned to lead the first Group Litigation Action, we have been working closely with them over the past 18 months to ensure that every aspect of this claim is able to be presented in court, should it need to be, with further discussions with a similar City law firm. Based on the new direct, individual plans to file individual MSC’s, the appointment of a larger number of law firms is ongoing, with the planned appointment of a main lead law firm, overseeing and advising the law firms who will each represent the clients whose action(s) are against the initial 7 UK lenders to start with, rather than a single lender. This is the preferred route for the insurers in order to spread the risk and make the per claim costs manageable. The identity of the law firms will be disclosed as and when they are instructed for each claim, the first choice will be the panel law firms which each legal expense funder prefers. The initial plan is to put forward the formal Letter of Claim to the lenders, with a simultaneous individual application to the Land Registry for each mortgage, in order to have the charge removed or amended. At which point the land registry will either automatically remove the charge, based on the evidence presented which can prove that the Lender no longer has any financial right to that charge. Alternatively, the Land Registry will contact the lenders on each application to advise them of the application to correct the Charges Register. Based on the expectation that they will have received thousands of applications, we strongly believe that the Legal Quest legal team, headed up by Camellus Law LLP, will get the chance to sit down with the lender and explain how the lender might be able fix this, without having to defend each individual claim in the High Court. So, to summarise where we are at the beginning of June 2019, some 5 years since we started on this momentous journey, we are at the point where the law firm(s) will be shortly be invited to act for the current client base. Only those clients, where a valid MSC is able to be filed against the initial 7 UK lenders. We have almost 1,000 individual MSC’s ready to proceed with the individual claim process and are waiting for the Insurance to be agreed. This will allow us to easily obtain the funding required for each individual action. The Legal Quest plc web site has been updated to reflect the new FCA supervision of Claims Management when the Ministry of Justice CMR transferred its authority to them, as well as the separation of Camellus Law LLP. The Legal Quest plc telephone service is also being updated to cope with the anticipated additional volume, with a specific ‘Update’ option to be added. All future updates will be a recorded message with the latest ‘news’. This will be updated at the end of each month, with any direct client updates sent via the normal text/email prompt which the LARS system already utilises, as and when such matters arise.
The formal advice from the lead law firm was received last week, following a 3 month in depth review of the initial instructions, existing counsel opinions and, other legal and regulatory factors. The advice included the identification of the suggested specialist Counsel, who will advise on the contract aspects rather than the general securitisation matters. This is seen as the starting point of our arguments and the basis for the initial dialogue with the lenders. It is cost effective due to the fact that, if the lenders choose to ‘negotiate’ a settlement rather than a full blown court action, the legal costs will be reduced. Although still an expensive matter to cover, it is estimated to be less than half of the £3M to £5M price tag we have been asked to budget for per action, with initially up to 40 separate actions planned. The funding of each action is therefore a significant matter for Legal Quest plc to cover, and the main reason why single individual cases cannot be filed. In order to have the required funding for the initial actions (against which, as stated above, there are up to 40 named lenders, with five proposed legal firms to be appointed, all sharing joint Counsel), a substantial level of litigation or legal expenses funding has been calculated to be required in excess of £30M. To this end formal discussions have taken place with a number of funding sources over the previous 6 month period. Direct confirmation of funding being available from £500K up to the full £30M has been obtained from at least three funders, subject to the provision of suitable After the Event (ATE) insurance or similar insurance protection. Legal Quest plc are in discussions with two of the UK’s leading insurance providers in relation to this matter. One of the funders required Legal Quest plc to attend the offices of a major UK legal firm in the City, to conduct a qualified review of Legal Quest plc and, the merits of the Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s). The meeting took place in August and as a result, not only were they able to confirm to the funder that Legal Quest plc were suitable for litigation funding consideration, but they also suggested that they may be able to ‘add value’ by agreeing to represent Legal Quest plc and their claimants in the subsequent actions. The last update we received was that their in-house Counsel had not found any cause to question the basic premise and that they were consulting with external Counsel in preparation. Non-Disclosure agreements have been signed with several insurance companies who are looking into the risk management aspects for Legal Quest plc. The detailed funding requirements for the initial actions (3) have been submitted. Due to the Christmas shut down period we do not expect to re-open dialogue until the New Year, however it has been suggested that there may be a meeting during the festive period with one international insurance company. In summary, we are hopeful that the funding arrangements will be finalised early into the New Year. The initial law firm is standing by to obtain the Counsels opinion required to open the initial dialogue, (following funding being agreed) and, as we have stated in the past, we still remain hopeful that negotiations can take place with the lenders ‘Out of Court’ and a settlement can be reached sooner rather than later, with a target of towards the end of 2019 at a strong possibility for the first success.
In order that there is no confusion, we are able to provide this statement as to the current position and, hopefully, answer any queries or concerns you may have by the content below. First and foremost, everyone is wondering how long it will take to get a decision. We are able to confirm that over the past few months or so, we have been heavily engaged in instructing a top Legal 500 law firm located in the City of London, who have in principle agreed to act for Legal Quest PLC and our clients. The lengthy process of their case review has started and initial advice received regarding the case management and the sheer size of the legal tasks ahead. As a result, their proposed plan of action is to take a single primary lender to task and concentrate all efforts and resources into getting a definitive result, thus allowing the legal team to focus all their attention on the initial action and not be diverted on numerous actions against up to 100 lenders. The Board of Legal Quest PLC have adopted this advice in principle, but recognise that this position must be flexible as the case progresses. The remaining cases, against all the other lenders, continue to be prepared and getting them ready to file as secondary actions as soon as it is deemed appropriate. Due to the highly complex nature of Mortgage Securitisation Claims, along with the fact that this initial group action is the first challenge of its kind, the leading law firm are carrying out their preparations, paying extremely close attention to every legal aspect and detail and taking independent advice regarding any queries which are being raised. Consequently, we understand that the law firm expects to be conversant enough to be able to instruct senior Counsel by September 2018 although this is not confirmed and should thereafter have the senior Counsel’s opinion before year end. Subject to the opinion of Counsel as to the most suitable course of action an application will then be submitted to the High Court for what is believed will be a Group Litigation Order (GLO). We are advised that on granting the GLO, the High Court will require Legal Quest PLC to invite claimants to register their claim against the named primary lender, creating significant pressure on all the other lenders, due to the numerous press releases and advertising which will follow. A closing date for registration will also be issued by the court, which could be a period of anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, effectively closing the action to new clients against that particular lender after the closing date, adding further pressure on both claimants and the lender to negotiate and deal with the problem prior to the action being adjudicated. Taking the most pessimistic view, the law firm suggest that the action may actually take up to three years to obtain a Court judgement, based on the view that the lender may refuse to negotiate in the interim, however, it is believed that this will be the most likely outcome and an out of court settlement agreed. This would not create a legal precedent and, therefore, the time-frame to potential settlement should be sooner. In addition, even If the worst happens and matters progress to Court and, the initial case is lost, but the legal team consider the case is still worthy of Appeal, then this may add a further two years or less to the time-frame. If the legal team have to take the matter all the way to the UK Supreme Court, which they have indicated they are prepared to do, subject to the legal arguments warranting this, we are facing up to a 5 year challenge. Therefore, although Legal Quest plc originally estimated that it would be realistic to get a result within 2 years, this was an at best 'estimate', having provided the legal team with copies of the paperwork for the primary lender, due to the large quantity of supporting documentation that needs to be reviewed, the law firm believes this will be one of the largest series of legal actions ever considered, with the law firm predicting potential ‘Legal Armageddon’ unless the matter is dealt with correctly, hence the revised time frame which is much more realistic. Legal Quest PLC are unable to give individual advice regarding any client’s future actions, but are now able give all our existing clients the ability to focus on more realistic timescales and reassess their own position and make an informed decision accordingly. Anyone who’s mortgage matures in the next three years or are considering a re-mortgage within this time-frame may wish to withdraw their MSC without penalty at this time. Legal Quest plc and the legal team will update details of the progression of the primary action on the website as the case proceeds. In addition, subject to regulatory approval, Legal Quest plc have been asked to show some examples of how these amended timescales may affect clients, these will be posted on the website as examples of what options each claimant may have, so that all clients are fully aware of what they may consider as what might be the most appropriate action to suit their own particular circumstances, allowing them to make an informed decision. We thank you for your continued support, having devoted almost 14 years to taking this matter to conclusion, we remain convinced that there is a genuine reason for the matter to be dealt with and that a benefit will most probably be achieved.
In advance of the pending Financial Guidance Bill 2017-2019, we have chosen to reduce our CFA Fee to 24% (20% plus VAT), the same capped amount which is soon to be imposed on PPI firms. This fee reduction applies to all of our existing and future clients, thus making the potential ‘win’ an even better prospect for you all, in the event of our anticipated success. As some of our clients have been with us for almost 3 years now, we are aware that you are most likely eager for the notification to be submitted to your lender. We must emphasise that we are currently in a very strong position, however, as we are a careful and conservative firm, we would never jeopardise our clients by rushing in without the means to see this through to the end. The cost of After the Event funding on each action will run into several million pounds, so we simply would not risk such losses without the confidence our research has given us and, more to the point, progress has been made on several legal fronts with confirmed opinion from a leading QC as to the strength of our potential case(s). Great strides have been made since December with senior level talks with several legal teams and litigation funders etc., which will shortly draw to a conclusion. We have also been testing the waters, behind the scenes, by assisting other Law firms in related but not identical actions. We are therefore now reaching the final stages of taking the initial group of Legal Quest clients forward, with notification of the Class/Group actions expected to be lodged over the coming months. We believe that the potential win has never been closer. You will be notified as soon as your lender group claim has been submitted, with further details of Legal Teams, Barristers etc. Once again, we thank you for your patience – we are, without doubt, getting closer to our goal with each day that passes.
We have been made aware of a recent news article published in the Daily Mail, regarding one of our affiliates, Ease Your Mortgage. The article, entitled “Warning over TV campaign asking homeowners for a £260 fee to find mortgage errors” is, in our opinion, biased, while providing limited information in regards to the service that we provide. Despite the majority of the information provided in the article being accurate, the way in which this has been portrayed is with a biased and negative viewpoint of the editorial team, who, at no point came to Legal Quest PLC for comments. The article suggests that through the marketing efforts of our affiliates, we are trying to ‘lure’ homeowners into ‘handing over cash’ in order to get ‘a large chunk’ of their mortgage debt wiped off. This statement, we feel, is unjustified as we clearly ask all potential clients to read through our website thoroughly before signing up for the Validation Process. The article correctly states that we invite borrowers to pay, rather than ‘STUMP UP’ (their words) £260.00 to find out whether their mortgage has been sold on by their original lender to another company. It goes on to correctly state that the TV advert argues that errors in the paperwork when these mortgages are sold could allow borrowers to make a claim against their lender to get ‘up to 70%’ of their mortgage debt written off. This was the original statement which the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) deemed was ‘misleading’. The article further intimates that the radio adverts were ‘banned’. This is a slight exaggeration as the ASA received a complaint regarding one of Ease Your Mortgages’ adverts. As a result of this, it was withdrawn by agreement and reissued using an amended script, which the ASA agreed was more accurate. As a result, the advert on the radio and websites were amended to state 100% could be written off with a No Win – No Fee, amount due of 25% + VAT = 30% due but ONLY if the borrower wins a case. The remainder of the article is technically correct, repeating only statements we make and continue to make, so that no client is misled into any other conclusion. We are still in the early stages of this huge battle, but following over 12 years of research and 3 years of regulatory oversight, no-one has been able to state that we are wrong,
Following professional advice and due to the complexity of the Legal Quest Mortgage Challenge and planned Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s), it has been decided that we will select academically, qualified professionals, who will be invited to join an Independent Advisory Board. It was tabled and agreed for the first invitation to be made to Professor Richard A. Werner, who is a well-respected international banking consultant. Professor A, Werner has published papers that include the concept of ‘quantitative easing’, in 1995 and, more recently, as he states in the TV interview, which can be viewed by clicking here, as well as the first published empirical proof regarding the creation of money by the banking sector, this being also confirmed as a fact by the Bank of England. Two additional law professors who were former colleagues of Professor Werner are to be proposed by him as candidates and, it is hoped that all three will accept the appointment to the Advisory Board in early 2018. Two additional senior government individuals have also been tabled as being suitable to provide Legal Quest PLC with a robust panel of Expert Witnesses, beyond reproach, if any of the matters surrounding the Legal Quest Mortgage Challenge or Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s) are required to be proven in Court.
In anticipation of the future plans and proposed actions against the mainstream lenders, Legal Quest has taken the significant step to register itself as a PLC. The registration as a PLC also saw the appointment of formal auditors and plans to transfer the audit role to a Big 6 accounting firm after the financial year end in March 2018. On 19th September 2017 Legal Quest Limited was formally registered at Companies House as Legal Quest PLC, any existing agreements or business will continue and be valid under the new name and status.
The continued support of the founder members and original investors was ratified by the registration of a £1.07 million debenture. The debenture covers the entire investment to date by the founders and, external parties. In addition, the continued investment and marketing support of Guild Capital Investments Ltd., who are administering the Legal Quest trading style, Legal Mortgage Challenge, and Samweb (UK) Limited t/a Ease Your Mortgage, who also have a 30% equity share, will allow the expansion and future business plans of Legal Quest to proceed. Their support will allow for the continued promotion of the Legal Quest Mortgage Challenge and the planned filing of Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s) to the lenders. It is proposed to open initial dialogue with the majority of the UK lenders and potentially, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders, during the first quarter of 2018.
Following months of negotiations and due diligence, Legal Quest Limited would like to welcome a new equity investment partner. Guild Capital Investment Ltd. who have taken a 25% interest of the enlarged share capital in Legal Quest Limited for an investment of £285,000. The new share capital, together with the 5% founder shareholding, sees Guild Capital Investment owning a 30% interest in Legal Quest Limited. Their investment and continued support, will aid the growth and development of the proposed business plans.