Group pleads for pro bono help in action

INVESTORS who lost about £8 million through allegedly poor advice from collapsed retirement financial services firm Knight Williams need lawyers on a pro bono basis to help them recover their money.

Kenneth Jordan, chair of the Knight Williams Investors Action Group, said: “We are open to suggestions. We would like legal representation but cannot afford it.”

John Arnold, litigation partner of Chester firm Birch Cullimore which acts for an action group member, said: “If there are any City firms which offer pro bono work, this situation cries out for help. It would be nice if the much-abused legal profession could be seen riding to these people's assistance.”

Unlike similar action groups, such as Lloyd's Names using top firms to sue agents in negligence claims, the Knight Williams investors are mostly retired, not wealthy, and only number around 400.

The action group says it has turned away “ambulance-chasing” solicitors who enquired whether the group has sufficient funds to pay fees.

The sudden move by Knight Williams to go into voluntary liquidation, understood to be based on advice by lawyers Fladgate Fielder, has taken investors by surprise and effectively side-stepped regulators' compensation mechanisms.

John Dodd, in Chester, one of a number of retired solicitors in the action group, said: “Legal advice would be very important at this stage.”