McMaster in new legal spat

Former Dover financial boss Terry McMaster is in a legal fight with several law firms he has previously accused of providing negligent advice.

Mr McMaster believes Dover was provided with negligent advice on its client protection policy and, following the Federal Court’s ‘guilty’ decision last year, warned that he was considering action against a number of law firms who signed off on it.

Mr McMaster has now launched that action – and one of the firms has addressed the case.

“We’ve got confidence in the services we deliver and confidence in the services we delivered to Dover,” Holley Nethercote managing partner Grant Holley told ifa.

“We’ve also got confidence in our legal system, which of course is designed to ensure that Dover has an opportunity to make its allegations and we have an opportunity to answer those allegations.”

Holley Nethercote will be filing a defence in the coming days addressing the allegations.

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“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to answer the allegations that have sort of been made through the media and that we’ve not felt we’ve been able to respond to without waiving client privilege,” Mr Holley said.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to defend the matter and have the courts deal with it.

“We look forward to seeing how it all plays out.”

Dover Financial was found guilty of making “false, misleading or deceptive statements” in its client protection policy, with Mr McMaster knowingly concerned. Justice Michael O’Bryan found that the title of the protection policy was “highly misleading” and “an exercise in Orwellian doublespeak”.

“The document did not protect clients,” said Justice O’Bryan. “To the contrary, it purported to strip clients of rights and consumer protections they enjoyed under the law.”

ASIC brought the case against Dover and Mr McMaster, saying that the client protection policy “contained false and misleading representations as to the rights and protections available to clients; created a significant imbalance in Dover’s and its authorised representatives’ rights and obligations compared with those of clients; and sought to protect the interests of Dover and its authorised representatives by avoiding liability to clients for poor financial advice”.

Dover was the first conviction to come out of the royal commission, and remains one of the most high-profile to date.

Mr McMaster declined to comment.

McMaster in new legal spat
McMaster in new legal spat
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