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High Court Success for Yorkshire Law Firm’s Client

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Independent financial advice company 2plan Ltd, clients of Yorkshire Law firm Keeble Hawson LLP, have been awarded over £87,000 in the High Court in a claim against Peter & Adele Trotman, formerly of Source Financial Ltd.

The claim related to a failure by Source and Mr & Mrs Trotman to comply with contractual obligations following 2plan’s acquisition of Source’s IFA business in 2009. 2plan also faced a £500,000 counterclaim from Peter Trotman alleging fraudulent misrepresentation. Mr Trotman claimed that 2plan’s CEO, Chris Smallwood, and MD, Chris Davies, had promised him a lucrative position on the board to entice him to part with the Source business, when they had no intention of appointing him to such a position.

However, 2plan had always maintained that the offer to join the board was subject to a minimum number of Source’s financial advisers transferring to 2plan. Moreover, as negotiations progressed and it became clear that Peter Trotman could not deliver what he had initially suggested, the deal was re-negotiated and a contract was signed which provided Mr Trotman with a self-employed position but not a board directorship.

As 2plan’s solicitor, Rachel Crookes, Head of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team in the Leeds office of Keeble Hawson LLP explains:

“Following a five day trial at Leeds High Court I’m delighted that 2plan were awarded all sums claimed from Mr & Mrs Trotman and Mr Trotman’s counterclaim was dismissed. The Judge found that the allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation were “wholly without foundation” and that there was “no reason for anyone to suppose that the conduct of Mr Smallwood and Mr Davies with regard to the Source acquisition was in even the smallest degree dishonourable”.

Chris Smallwood, CEO of 2plan, said:

“We are delighted with the judgment which has vindicated our position. We would like to thank Rachel Crookes for her professionalism and valued support throughout this case and for Keeble Hawson’s advice and work with us since 2Plan”s creation.”

Rachel Crookes added:

“Fraudulent misrepresentation is an extremely serious allegation. In the financial services industry companies rely heavily upon the reputations of their staff and Mr Smallwood and Mr Davies have built up excellent reputations over many years. These unfounded allegations had the potential to cause significant damage to those reputations and the reputation of 2plan, particularly as the defendant had provided details of his allegations to the press prior to the trial.”

“We have worked extensively with 2plan since its inception and have advised on a broad range of commercial matters. I am extremely pleased with today’s outcome, particularly given the importance of this case to the company”.

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