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Banking and Investment Disputes

Our banking and investment disputes team provide legal advice and representation to lenders and investors who are facing financial losses as a result of the negligent acts or advice of another party.

Regardless of the jurisdiction and type of organisation which has caused you loss, or complexity of your case, we can advise and represent you to seek recourse.

We have a range of resolution mechanisms available depending on the precise nature of the dispute, including the timing, risks, financial exposure and importance of preserving business relationships. Where feasible, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation, can bring a rapid and equitable conclusion to disputes without the involvement of the Courts – the outcome of which can then be made legally binding.  While ADR will not always be appropriate, it holds considerable advantages in terms of time, cost and the preservation of business relationships.

Where necessary, our banking and investment Solicitors can manage the complete process of investigation and formal Court litigation for our banking and investment clients, leveraging our knowledge of Irish and EU banking and financial law.

Our banking and investment services and experience

Current case: The Belfry Funds

Between 2002 and 2006, AIB sold a series of investments in UK commercial properties, known as the Belfry Funds, which subsequently incurred losses for about 2,500 individual investors.    

Following a legal settlement in 2021 with certain investors, AIB reviewed investments in the Belfry Funds on a case by case basis to determine if payments to investors may be due in certain instances.

AIB considered the regulatory requirements at the time (2002-2006), primarily the Code of Conduct for the Investment Business Services of Credit Institutions 2001. The review reassessed the suitability of the Belfry Funds for each investor including:

  • checking that the investor’s investment objectives and experience were aligned to investing in the Belfry Funds;
  • determining that the risks and the overall risk rating of the Belfry Fund were clear; and
  • establishing if the investor’s financial position was aligned to investing in the Belfry Funds.

AIB have conducted the review and, where they have concluded that the Belfry Fund was not suitable for a particular investor, they have provided full repayment of the amount invested as compensation. Where AIB have determined that an error may have been made in the sales process, they are providing a partial repayment of the amount invested as compensation. AIB are making an additional compensation payment to recognize any non-financial effect this may have had on impacted investors. AIB are also making a time value of money compensation payment for investors not having the benefit of the money invested in a Belfry Fund. A payment is also provided to investors towards the cost of any independent professional advice they may wish to seek.

If an investor disagrees with the investment review outcome, AIB have established an internal reassessment process where an investor can share relevant documents to challenge the outcome.

If an investor disagrees with the outcome, an investor can also appeal to an independent appeals panel. An investor may have documents that provide further detail on their investment objectives, investment experience and financial position at the time the investment was made. The appeal may result in a change to the outcome of the case assessment and an additional payment may be made to investors.  

The independent appeals panel members are independent from AIB and will comprise:

  • a consumer voice representative;
  • a legal panel member (a solicitor or barrister); and
  • a financial panel member (an accountant).

Any payments already made by AIB are not affected by the outcome of the independent appeals process.

Investors can also make a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman.

Lavelle Partners are currently advising investors in respect of the review of their investments in the Belfry Funds. Please contact Ciarán Leavy, Partner and Head of Commercial Litigation should you wish to discuss the Belfry Funds review. Email: cleavy@lavellepartners.ie

Our team advise and represent individuals, companies and syndicates, and have recently handled cases whereby financial product misrepresentation, misselling, professional negligence and mismanagement has occurred.  In one notable recent case, we successfully represented several investors relating to Custom House Capital.

Lavelle Partners advise lenders and investors with claims arising from investments in:

  • Alternative investments
  • CFD’s
  • Fixed income financial products
  • Foreign Property
  • Property Investments
  • Property Investment
  • Property syndicates
  • Public Shares
  • Private Shares
  • Regulated and Unregulated Investment Products
  • UK entities

For more information, please contact Partner, Ciarán Leavy who will review your case and discuss your options with you.

Why Choose Lavelle Partners?

  • Our banking and litigation function, headed by Partner, Ciarán Leavy, has a wealth of practical experience in relation to banking and investment disputes in Ireland, the EU, and internationally.  We are business people at heart and will work tirelessly to ensure your business interests are represented and goals achieved.
  • Ciarán and his team can readily tap into the combined legal resources of our full-service law firm, meaning that our banking and investment clients receive advice that takes into account all possible angles.  This provides our clients with a considerable advantage over other parties in litigation matters.
  • We have successfully assisted many large banking and investment clients with their litigation needs.

What our clients say

Comprehensiveness, thoroughness, lucidity, candidness and trustworthiness are the main attributes I associate with the Lavelle Partners team based on my experience with them to date. They excel at (a) setting out and contextualising the legal concerns associated with disputed issues, as well as (b) exploring alternative engagement and resolution options, and (c) skillfully advising and expeditiously following-through on appropriately selected courses of action.’

The Legal 500, 2022

Expert advice and the priority they gave, in particular their attention to detail.’

The Legal 500, 2022

The firm listen to the issues, make sure they understand the precise problems and then accurately summarise the situation with suggested remedies. They make you feel comfortable and you dont feel you are “on the clock”.’

The Legal 500, 2022

I have immediate access to their advices via email/telephone and it’s always friendly and professional. I can rely on their recommendations at all times.’

The Legal 500, 2022

Ciarán Leavy is the outstanding partner. Ciarán is, without doubt, the best solicitor I have encountered in my 45 years dealing with that profession. He is extraordinarily shrewd and sharp in respect of the pertinent legal issues but he is also exceptionally discerning about the related human and ethical dimensions of those issues as they apply ab initio and in the context of unfolding circumstances. In short, he combines efficiency and effectiveness with thoughtful considerateness, along with being both approachable and an especially clear communicator.’

The Legal 500, 2022

‘Ciarán Leavy gains excellent insight into the matter and is excellent at correspondence such that it gets the point across to the other side and can narrow the issues at hand or move the process forward.’

The Legal 500, 2022

Ciaran Leavy stands out as an excellent lawyer who always seems to find a solution no matter what the problem is.’

The Legal 500, 2022

Michael Lavelle has great grasp of issues and wealth of practical experience. Exudes confidence.’

The Legal 500, 2022

For further information on how we can help you with Banking & Investment Disputes in Ireland and the EU, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.

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