A Perth-based financial planning boutique has gone into liquidation several weeks after ASIC cancelled its licence, with potentially significant implications for aggrieved former clients.
In a letter to creditors dated 22 October, Grant Thornton administrators Matthew Donnelly and Gayle Dickerson announced that Chambers Investment Planners has gone into liquidation, with the finalisation of the liquidation to be determined by the outcome of litigation and claims against the firm.
The letter explains that the administrators will now “oversee claims against the company and its professional indemnity insurance, conclude investigations into the company’s affairs (including related party transactions) and…distribution of the company’s funds”.
The decision to liquidate the company means that the deed for company arrangement proposed by Chambers managing director George Takla will not be going ahead, meaning that loans of almost $1 million made by Mr Takla to related parties, understood to be his son Medhat and daughter Bernice, are legally able to be pursued.
However, a report to creditors dated 1 October explained that under this scenario “it is likely that the recoveries in liquidation will not be significant” and that “unsecured creditors may receive no return”, meaning damages are unlikely to be awarded to former clients.
The liquidation scenario does mean, however, that the liquidators are able to further company details to authorities for further investigation.
ifa understands that at least two legal actions are pending against the company, but that a number of former clients are unable to afford to pursue litigation since they have been left financially devastated by investments recommended by Chambers advisers.
The Perth based financial planning boutique entered administration in July, after as many as 14 claims were filed against it with the Financial Ombudsman Service – at least one of which resulted in a determination against the firm – causing a dispute with its professional indemnity insurance provider.
“We welcome any ASIC investigation,” Mr Takla wrote to ifa in a letter dated 14 August.
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