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HLB vindicated in Federal Court

A HLB Mann Judd financial adviser has welcomed the Federal Court’s dismissal of negligence allegations against him, claiming the verdict confirms fighting the charges was the right decision.

Sydney-based HLB Mann Judd wealth management partner Michael Hutton told ifa the charges laid against him were not reflective of his financial advice philosophy.

“While going to court is never an ideal situation, we are confident that we always give appropriate advice to clients, and we believed it was important to defend this in the court of law,” he said.

“We are all relieved that the case is over and that the Federal Court has supported our position.”

The comments follow Justice Foster’s dismissal of a negligence claim by a former client, Vicki Jordan, against Hutton and AFSL-holder Lonsdale Financial Group seeking compensation for losses sustained investing through a self-managed superannuation fund, acting on Hutton’s advice.

Foster J ruled that Hutton was not liable for the losses, throwing out the applicant’s claim that the adviser had engaged in “misleading or deceptive” conduct or that HLB had “not sufficiently investigated Ms Jordan’s income needs”, thereby amounting to a breach of duty of care, according to the published opinion handed down on 9 April. 

The court ruled that Hutton had made a reasonable assessment of Ms Jordan’s risk profile and explained the various managed funds in which she invested sufficiently in the statement of advice and other relevant documents.


“Given my findings on liability, it is not necessary for me to consider the question of damages,” Foster J concluded.