It was announced by the Financial Conduct Authority that Smith Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd has been put into a state of administration.

By looking on the website of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), it is evident that there were several claims made against the company regarding the poor advice that it gave to its clients about transferring away from their occupational or defined benefit pension into what is known as a self-invest pension plan (SIPP). The FOS upheld these claims after it was determined that the advice the company had given in relation to pension transfer was not at all suitable.

A Defined Benefit Scheme

The type of pension product known as a defined benefit scheme is one that is provided by some large employers and pays members a salary that is protected against inflation up until the point of death. In addition to the guaranteed salary, this type of pension also comes with numerous other guarantees and benefits, like a spousal pension and certain death benefits. Because of this and the fact that there is no risk involved, pension schemes like this are deemed to be very valuable and highly desirable. Sop by transferring away from a defined benefit pension and into a SIPP, the member loses access to these many benefits, as well as being exposed to a greater level of risk. This means that a transfer into a SIPP often leaves most people much worse off than if they had kept their occupational pension.

Pension Transfer

It was typically the case that people were either paid a visit at their home or cold called by someone offering to review their pension free of charge. At this point, they would introduce either Smith Law & Shepherds IFA or the company’s appointed representative. Most of the time, people were given the advice that it was beneficial to move away from their current, defined benefit pension and into a SIPP or James Hay.

Some people took as much as 25% of the value of the funds they transferred in a tax free lump sum of cash and many of them were encouraged by this to perform a pension transfer no matter what the risks involved were. However, their remaining funds were put into risk and illiquid investments (Walker Crips, Organic Investment Management Limited, Greyfriars Asset Management, Tatton Investment Management) through a discretionary fund manager and this had a really bad impact on the value of their pensions.

Unsuitable Advice

Anyone that has dealt with any of these companies and ended up transferring their pension or put money into investments might have been provided with advice that was totally unsuitable. For this reason, you should have your transaction(s) with them reviewed by an expert advisor. This is also true for anyone who has revived pension statements that showed their pension was performing well, whilst actually it had fallen in value and was now illiquid, meaning you couldn’t recover any of the value from it.

Making  A Claim

We offer a pension claim consulting service which you can use in order to find out exactly what your situation is and if you’re entitled to any sort of financial redress. However, you should get in contact with us quickly as there are likely to be time limits in place on how long you can claim compensation for.

So why not call and have an informal talk with one of our experts or email them to see how best to progress your claim. This is totally free and there is no obligation to actually use our service.

High Standards & Low Fees

We have been operating as a claims management company for some 10 years and have been able to offer the lowest fees in the entire industry since 2017. One reason for this is because we don’t purchase client data from the very companies that mis sold pension products in the first place. So those claims management company may not be better, they might just be buying in client information in order to secure business.

As a result of our many years in the industry, we possess an expert knowledge and understanding of the investment compensation process and so really can help you to get what you deserve.


Some of our clients did not know that they have taken bad advice or that an adviser was at fault until they spoke to us.


Contact us and get a FREE ASSESSMENT.