It is almost 6 months since the last update, during which time we have been subjected to the national Covid 19 pandemic issues and restrictions which continue to disrupt all aspects of our business plans. Despite the initial relaxation of the Covid 19 restrictions, the subsequent lock-downs and related matters have continued to delay the return of DSAR data from the 60+ UK lenders for who we are now able to take on new MSC applications for verification and validation. The reduced staffing levels here in the Operations Office have added to the overall slowing down of validated cases, however, we are pleased to confirm that the momentum for new MSC applications is still on an upward trend, with quite a few potential buy to let MSC Claimants submitting multiple applications for different properties, with further indications that this will continue and increase over the coming months. One item we wish to draw to everyone’s attention is in respect of the fact that, despite there being a specified list of UK lenders where we are able to accept a new MSC application , a significant number of potential MSC applicants are ignoring the fact that their lender in not on the list, using one of the other named lenders to allow their application to be accepted. This is a complete waste of time and money as we do not discover the deception until we receive the signed Agent Authority Letter and supporting documentation inc. photo ID. We also now have a minimum since the mortgage loan was first taken out, this being 3 years. Again, it is a pointless exercise to submit a new MSC application on a mortgaged loan with less than 3 years since the loan was taken out. The reason this is now in place is to ensure that if the only amount(s) which are able to be recovered are the total values of all payments made to the lender SINCE the date they securitised the loan account, the gross value of the MSC may be very low and therefore not worth the time and effort required to deal with the claim. Most lenders allow what’s called a “seasoning period of up to three years before they securitise. This 3 year period is required irrespective of the value of the mortgage loan, as it relates to actual administrative work which has no bearing on the loan values. Please therefore do not submit any new MSC applications which do not genuinely qualify under the initial sign-up questions, that way we can focus our time on genuine MSC matters. LThe ongoing discussions with litigation funders and ATE providers have continued, but with lengthy periods between communications, all blamed on Covid 19, and the fact that most of the individuals involved are either furloughed or working from home and, as such, it is almost impossible to deal with matters in a normal manner despite having full Zoom and similar video conferencing facilities now established, but even they have limitations. One of the main issues we have had to face and implement is the fact that nobody can give any sort of definitive answer as to when the pandemic is likely to be sufficiently contained to get businesses back to a reasonable state of normality. As a result, we have taken the view that if we assume the worst and factor that into our future business plans, we stand a good chance of being ahead of the pack, as and when the situation returns to normal. The provisional ‘cut-off’ date for all ‘Primary MSC’s’ to be validated by is September 30th, 2021. Thich was put in place when the last update was published and has been maintained, however, due to the delays and uncertainties due to Covid 19, we have had to choose a reasonably low number of Primary MSC Claimants to be named and to be submitted to the appointed barristers and QC’s by the panel law firms. Each MSC will have a full DSAR/QVA report; the subsequent Part 35 Expert report; the preliminary legal Opinion confirming a 75% or better probability of a successful outcome from Counsel; and the specific Letter before Action with a Part 36 Offer to Settle, issued by the panel law firm representing the MSWC Claimant. These will be submitted by Royal Mail to each of the 60+ UK lenders, as soon after the ‘cut-off’ date as possible. Therefore, we estimate that irrespective of the restrictions and delays caused by the pandemic, we will be in a position to file approximately 6,000 Primary MSC’s during October 2021, with the appointed barristers/QC’s being the point of contact for the lender(s) to respond to. All correspondence will be via the Legal Audit Review System (LARS). A new, revised and updated version LARS2 is due to be released early in 2021, making the entire process a much simpler and user friendly experience. We have been advised that the new system will allow a significantly higher number of MSC’s to be processed, and that all such validated MSC’s will be allocated as ‘Secondary MSC’s’ to each of the +/-60 UK lenders and that the settlement negotiations will include these additional MSC’s as part of the overall submissions. The details for the implementation of this is still being finalised but we are assured this will follow the standard process, with MSCL remaining the legal case managers on ALL Primary and Secondary MSC’s, with a direct joint venture agreement (JV) in place with all of the panel law firms and with one yet to be identified major law firm as the ‘lead’ law firm who will be allocated all of the Secondary MSC’s as well as probably 50% of the Primary MSC’s. It will not make any difference to any of the MSC Claimants as all are treated equally and will each be under the same No Win – No Fee agreements payable only if the MSC is successful. We hope to be able to publish another update during the first quarter of 2021 which, in the meantime, means we have no further information or news to give any of the current or previous MSC Claimants. We would ask that you do not send private queries by either the website or by telephone messages as we have limited staff available and will still not be able to tell you anything other than what this update explains. Obviously, any genuine matters of concerns will be dealt with but general ‘where are we’ questions should be avoided, please! The new LARS 2 will hopefully have full electronic sign-up facilities with the ability for each new MSC application to be added into the MSC Claimants secure portal with the ability to almost instantly sign all the instruction documents and take a photo of the ID etc., thus streamlining our operations and will, in principle, allow us to accept substantially more MSC applications during the period to the ‘cut-off’ date and into 2022, when we are genuinely expecting the first MSC’s to be settled. This has been a long hard uphill fight and we are still yet to file our first salvo of MSC’s, however, we are still strong in our position, with more and more legal representatives joining the team to stand our ground and ultimately win the battles we are planning to take to the UK lenders during the course of 2021. As a final note, we wish all of our MSC Claimants, both past and future, a safe and prosperous New Year. We remain fully committed to taking this all the way and with a very strong cause of action, we should prevail! Regards The MSC Team and Management at MSCL
Obviously we are all now getting to grips with the Covid 19 situation and wanted to give all our past and new clients a new update on where we are with the long drawn out process of getting ready for the filing of the first Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s). The UK banking sector is starting to re-open their DSAR operations which means we should start to see some of the previously submitted DSAR’s being processed and allow Legal Quest plc the opportunity to conduct the Quantum Validation Audit (QVA) for us and the potential MSC Claimants. We are pleased to confirm that as of today, not only can we accept new MSC applications for mortgaged loans with Santander, and the six Lloyds Banking Group lenders as listed on the LARS sign-up portal, but due to the receipt of a new legal Opinion from Counsel, we have been able to add a further 53 UK lenders to the growing number of lenders who we are able to file the initial Letter before Action/Claim against having allocated the MSC to a panel law firm, of which we expect to appoint +/- 250 reputable SRA authorised law firms of varying size during the coming 6 months, covering England, Wales and Scotland (we are excluding Northern Ireland MSC’s for the time being) with a projected total number of MSC’s against the 60 initial UK lenders to be in the region of 215,000 cases. Some law firms will have a larger number of MSC’s, however, a minimum of 25 MSC’s per law firm with up to 10 UK lenders as the named respondents is the business plan for the final roll out. The initial current allocation of 1,500 MSC’s is underway with a target date of end of September 2020 tabled, (not withstanding Covid 19 causing any further delays), for these first MSC’s to be accepted by the initial +/- 35 panel law firms with each of the current MSC Claimants being notified which law firm their MSC has been assigned to. Each of the current, and for that matter all new MSC Claimants whose DSAR has proven that a valid case exists will be required to sign new documentation which formally appoints the law firm to represent each of you in the coming months with the law firm(s) working in collaboration with Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd., (‘MSCL’), Legal Quest plc (‘LQ’), and a planned lead law firm, who will be the legal expert responsible for all negotiations with the 60 named lenders and, if needed be the law firm who will file the specimen MSC’s in Court, for a final decision which will establish the precedent for all the MSC’s going forward. As stated above, we have managed to obtain a robust legal Opinion from a firm of barristers with the Head & Deputy Head of Chambers both signing off on the opinion. The Opinion is based on two major legislative breaches by the lender in respect of two actual MSC’s, one an interest only case and the other a standard variable rate case, with a confirmed 75% or better probability of a successful outcome stated. The Opinion also provides the confirmation that a similar opinion will be available for all MSC Claimants whose validation by Legal Quest plc allows the issue of a formal Part 35 Expert report with the same or similar evidence or proof included. Legal Quest plc has confirmed that in respect to all 60 named lenders now on the accepted list, they are satisfied that they will be able to issue the Part 35 Expert report for any MSC Claimant whose mortgage loan is given a positive QVA report following the DSAR review. We expect to take on additional staff and increase the overall capacity of the operations as the new MSC applications are received, taking advantage of the new Covid 19 government initiative for job retention and new job creation. New electronic signing software is being tested and as soon as possible, not only will the initial welcome documentation be able to be received and signed with digital recognition and the upload of ID and similar documentation, but this will also speed up the process and we are assured that the lenders will not be able to object or reject this new technology which we are sure will be user friendly for all our new MSC applicants. We also intend that the subsequent appointment of the panel law firm and related documentation will be delivered electronically for speed and accuracy, with a dedicated team of staff on standby to assist any of the MSC Claimants who are having difficulties, with a web site based electronic assistant also available for clients to use for questions and answers. There will of course be the ability to use standard paperwork and send it out using traditional mail, but we are trying to improve our carbon footprint so we hope to reduce physical paperwork to a minimum. Rather than give any further ‘news’ regarding some other important aspects for which we are in the final stages of discussions, we will end this update and hope to have another one very soon which we expect will be a very positive one. Everybody must continue to stay safe and keep the social distancing and other Covid 19 aspects in mind, we are working together to finally take this matter to the finishing post, or at the very least get all the horses in the race and ready for starter’s orders! Regards The MSC Team at MSCL
This update is presented to provide all current MSC Claimants and any new MSC applicants with a current and up to date summary of where we stand and the impact of the current Covid19 restrictions which are likely to continue for some, as yet to be determined, time frame. We have been advised by Lloyds Banking Group that their DSAR team have been placed on furlough and that they are only dealing with what they consider to be ‘vulnerable’ applications. However, when a formal request for clarification was sent their response was for us to continue to take new MSC applications and send in the DSAR paperwork, which will be placed in an orderly queue and dealt with as soon as they re-open the DSAR operations fully, that being at a date in the future as yet unknown. The direct result of this is that the normal 2 to 3 month period from first application to a validated audit report will be extended to perhaps up to 6 months, as the delay in the DSAR data being returned is an open item. Please understand that we are in unprecedented circumstances, and are continuing to provide the best possible service to all of the MSC Claimants and applicants. The DSAR Operations office is remaining open on a skeleton staffing basis, to maintain the social distancing rules, therefore all new MSC applications will be processed as normal, with a possible delay of 2 to 3 days before the initial paperwork is sent out for signature, it will be processed as normal and sent to the respective lender(s) where it will now seemingly be held in the queue, for a period of time, before being processed. We expect that once the lender(s) reopen their DSAR operations we will receive a backlog response which may also create further delays due to volume, please bear with us during these difficult times. As far as the normal ‘Where are we in regards to my MSC’ type questions which we are receiving from existing MSC Claimants, the simple answer is “We do not know!”, all current matters, are being severely disrupted by the Covid19 situation, we have established video conferencing facilities from the main DSAR offices as well as from the key management home offices, however, this is not as efficient as previous to the lockdown, and accordingly we have deferred all formal MSC matters until a provisional target date of 30 September 2020 as this is the earliest we can reasonably predict we will have all matters firmly in hand. We are hoping to finalise the funding/Insurance aspects as well as the recruitment of the proposed panel law firms during the Covid19 restrictions, with direct communication being handled in the interim via electronic means, any formal meetings are via video links and similar applications. Please therefore do not send any unnecessary emails, as they will only disrupt the reduced staff operations, with the answer being the same as this update, as stated before “We do not know!”, we trust that everyone understands this point. If there are any genuine email requests they will be dealt with, however, please understand that there may be delays in the response for the same reasons as stated above. We, as everyone else are concentrating on staying healthy and making sure that we are able to continue with this important matter, after the Covid19 matters have been resolved. Stay safe and well! Regards The Board of Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd.
Please note: We cannot provide further updates over the telephone. If you have any specific queries please email email@example.com with your Reference Number and query and one of the Senior Management Team will respond within 72 hours. Following on from the last month’s update, several things have taken place, however, the previously planned target date for filing the first MSC’s at the beginning of December was not possible, as we are now unfortunately in the hands of the panel law firms, the legal expenses funders and the ATE insurers who must now interact without any influence from Legal Quest plc (“LQ”) or Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd. (“MSCL”). A new target first filing date of 31st March 2020 has been provisionally put forward and, we are hopeful that all parties will be ready by then. The actual logistics of how the MSC’s are to be dealt with has been discussed, with various legal advisors and, the best suggested format is for MSCL to appoint a major league ‘Advisory Law Firm’ to be the lead negotiator for any and all preliminary advice and the preparation of formal claim documentation. They are proposed to also act as the legal advisors to the panel law firms, via MSCL, who will remain the MSC legal case managers and provide the LARS secure access to all parties. The further appointment by MSCL of a senior set of barristers and QC’s to provide the opinions for the MSC filings and, subsequent advice or representation, should the MSC matters proceed to the High Court or above was also initiated. The logistics will follow the basic structure used for Group/Class Actions, where a lead law firm, together with other law firms, represent the whole group of claimants, with one MSC claimant identified as the primary Claimant and all the others being part of the specimen case and the outcome being for one and all. Formal meetings have been held or are scheduled in the first part of January 2020 for the formal decision on who will be the lead law firm and which Chambers will advise. Until further information is available, we cannot identify the names of the parties we are in firm discussions with, suffice to say they are of a significant level to counter any legal representatives the lender(s) will appoint. As Xmas is nearly upon us, we advise that MSCL and LQ are closing on the 20th December 2019 and will reopen for business on Monday 6th January 2020, although a monitoring service will continue for emails and any urgent matters will be dealt with during the holiday period. We wish all of our MSC claimants a very happy Xmas and look forward to a very prosperous New Year. This update will be available as a recording for interested parties to listen to with a new update scheduled for the end of January early February when we hope to have further news!
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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 Management Team will respond within 72 hours. The first matter is to explain where we are at the beginning of November 2019, with all the former Legal Quest plc MSC Clients. During the restructuring period from 1st April to 6th September 2019 all previous MSC applicants were transferred by Legal Quest plc to Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd. (MSCL) to allow them to be totally independent from the potential outcome of any MSC. MSCL is therefore the only legal entity responsible for dealing with the individual MSC’s and in order that we may allocate these MSC’s to reputable independent law firms, for them to represent the actual MSC Clients. , MSCL are currently interviewing qualified independent SRA authorised law firms, who will be added to the growing legal panel. Each has agreed to represent any MSC Claimant, who has received a positive DSAR Validation review from Legal Quest plc on a No Win – No Fee basis. To be able to appoint them, every current MSC Claimant will be required to instruct the panel law firm, recommended by MSCL and, be willing to sign the relevant law firm client care documents, as well as the new CFA with the law firm, in order for the law firm to proceed with the individual MSC. The new Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with the panel law firm, will be on a 30% total cost basis, which is calculated at 25% + VAT for any direct or indirect benefit, derived from a successful MSC under a standard No Win – No Fee agreement basis. Any previous CFA or similar fee agreement being cancelled by Legal Quest plc, once the new panel law firm’s CFA and other documents have been signed. The delivery of the new paperwork by MSCL, which is in the process of being prepared for the first batches of MSC’s, will start the formal claim process for all of the previous and future MSC Claimants, as and when their individual MSC is allocated to their law firm. The initial group of MSC’s are to be initially filed against 7 UK Lenders namely:- Bank of Scotland; Birmingham Midshires/BM Solutions; Cheltenham & Gloucester; Halifax; Lloyds Bank; The Mortgage Business/TMB and Santander. Therefore, if your mortgage loan is with one of these lenders, and you have been given a positive DSAR Validation Audit report, you will shortly be receiving an email advising you of the name of the recommended panel law firm who will represent your individual MSC. You will need to sign and return the paperwork, which will be able to be signed online or, if you prefer it, a set of documents can be sent for signature, with a return mail envelope provided. As soon as the signed documents are returned either electronically or by mail, your MSC is on the starting grid. There is still a lot of final preparation to be dealt with, as well as the training, advice and support, (which Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd. have agreed to provide the panel law firms), this will include granting them secure access to the original Legal Audit Review System back office management portal LARS. The progress of your individual MSC will continue to be administered for you, via the secure LARS online portal, so your MSC will be fully up to date within 24 hours of any changes on where your MSC is at. Therefore, all MSC Claimants should continue to monitor progress of their individual MSC’s via the secure LARS portal using their secure Pin number and password. If you do not have it, or have forgotten it, send an email to info @ yourmsc dot co dot uk, asking for your log on details and the staff at MSCL will send you a reminder by return email. You are therefore requested to continue to be patient, this was always going to be a long term mission, taking years rather than months. However, we are now finally, at the launchpad, with a strong hope that during 2020 we will finally start to see some successful MSC’s. It was proposed that a December 2019/January 2020 start date would be implemented for the initial filing of MSC’s, against the first 7 lenders, however, it may be that some MSC Claimants will be filed earlier than the planned start date, some may be later. We have no way to predict when each MSC will be filed, or will have a response from the lenders. The actual MSC’s filing date for each MSC, will depend on the individual case history, the panel law firm’s response time to getting their details on the LARS portal and, of course the response time of the various lenders involved. The old and new Legal Quest plc websites, as well as the Camellus Law LLP web site and the new MSCL website which is at www dot yourmsc dot co dot uk have all been updated, to reflect the new group position and, to ensure that any previous ‘cookies’ remain in place. This will allow all former users to access the information previously available, as well as review any new changes. The new automatic telephone response system for both Legal Quest plc and Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd. has been commissioned to provide the recorded update information and to automatically refer all MSC Clients to the relevant areas for information or help. This was implemented to provide the staff and management, of the now separate independent companies, with as much free time as possible, to be able to commence the MSC filings without further delays. All future updates will be available via detailed recorded messages on the new telephone system, with the latest ‘news’ available to all MSC Claimants, so please use this as the first point of contact, to find out where we are on any particular MSC matter. This will be updated at the end of each month, with any direct client information sent via the normal text/email prompt to each MSC client, by the LARS system which already utilises this facility, any contact being as and when such matters arise. Finally, for those existing MSC Clients whose mortgage loan is not with one of the initial 7 UK lenders, who will form the first batch of MSC actions, the plan is for the other lenders to be gradually added, with each MSC Client being notified in the same way by email, as and when their specific MSC has been allocated to a panel law firm. There is no further news or any indication of timeframes for this, however, it is hoped that by March 2020 the next batch of lenders will be identified and all MSC Clients, whose mortgage loan is with the added lenders will be advised directly. Thank you for your support and continued patience in this large and complex legal challenge. After almost 15 years of in-depth review and over 5 years of test audits on actual MSC’s, we are ready to take this matter fully forward, with a continued strong belief that we will be successful, to the benefit of all parties concerned. Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s) are about to become mainstream news, please look out for both mainstream and social media press reports and please tell all your friends and family to look into what MSCL are trying to tell everyone about!
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Please note: We cannot provide further updates over the telephone. If you have any specific queries please email email@example.com with your Reference Number and query and one of the Senior Management Team will respond within 72 hours. Firstly, a few words about the separation of the legal and claim management aspects of all MSC’s and the actual validation or audit of the data obtained on each claim. As previously advised, as part of the regulatory restructuring, the separation of Camellus Law LLP was required to allow Legal Quest plc to remain totally independent and, be able to prepare and issue a professional, unbiased, Part 35 Expert report, on each specific Mortgage Securitisation Claim (MSC), if required. It was agreed that the Senior Partners of Camellus Law LLP, would prefer to offer their continued support and services, via a limited company, rather than via Camellus Law LLP therefore, the acquisition of Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd., from within the previous group structure, was agreed and recently completed. Following the acquisition, Mortgage Securitisation Claims Ltd. (MSCL) is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Camellus Law LLP, with the two Senior Designated Partners, accepting the post of Legal Directors. They are Martin D. Block LL.B. (Honours), who is a practicing Solicitor, with full Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) authorisation under SRA No: 118413. Nicholas Chadwyck-Healey Esq., who is a retired City of London Solicitor, who remains on the Solicitors Roll. MSCL is also considered, by the SRA, to be a Commercial and Industry body, via Camellus Law LLP’s Associate Partner - Legal Quest plc, under a separate SRA No: 634028. Therefore, all future promotional advertising or media coverage, regarding Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s), which is considered a regulated activity, will be initiated by the limited company MSCL, who are regulated by the SRA and is therefore not required to have any additional FCA authorisation, due to its SRA exempt status. In addition, as a direct result of the final restructuring, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) advised Legal Quest plc that, other than their present FCA authorisation under FRN No: 739402, (which is in relation to the mediation of insurance related claims), no additional regulatory permissions are required and, at the FCA’s request, their application for additional authorisation was withdrawn, effective 6th September 2019. This concludes the update on the restructuring and the next update which will be published around the beginning of November will deal with the transfer of ALL existing MSC applicants or clients by Legal Quest plc to MSCL. Thank you for your support and continued patience, in this large and complex legal challenge. After almost 15 years of in-depth review and over 5 years of test audits on actual MSC’s, we are ready to take this matter fully forward, with a continued strong belief that we will be successful, to the benefit of all parties concerned. Mortgage Securitisation Claims (MSC’s) are about to become mainstream news, please look out for both mainstream and social media press reports and please tell all your friends and family to look into what MSCL are trying to tell everyone about!
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.