Banned director sues regulator for £7.4m.
A FORMER company director is suing the Guernsey Financial Services Commission’s chairman for a total of about £7.4m., claiming a breach of his human rights.
Alan Chick was fined £50,000 and banned from performing the functions of director, controller, partner or manager for five years, after an investigation by the GFSC.
But in papers filed with the Royal Court, Mr Chick is claiming his human rights were breached, including by virtue of the fact that he was not given a fair and public trial, heard by an independent and impartial decision-maker.
This hearing should have also provided ‘all the relevant information, ie. full disclosure of all the available evidence, which it is claimed did not occur’.
The breaches of Articles 6, 7 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights as incorporated in The Human Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2000, arose from the GFSC’s failure to address three key elements, he claims, including ‘the serious issues raised in formal complaints and appeals submitted in accordance with the Commission’s established guidelines with regard to the misrepresentation of facts and the refusal to collect or suppression of relevant evidence.’
Comments by the GFSC’s director of enforcement in relation to the case in general and Mr Chick at an industry seminar in October last year were ‘inaccurate and unsubstantiated’, the cause claims.
In addition, it is pointed out that the human rights law requires that a person be given a hearing within a reasonable time, and the fact that the GFSC’s investigation took place 20 months after it received the letter that instigated it, did not meet these criteria.
Material found within the commission’s bundle of evidence was insufficient to back the claims made by the GFSC, and so could not be used to prove guilt, Mr Chick claims.
Another claim in the action is that at the time of the alleged offence, the 2001 fiduciaries law was not active and therefore it could not be used as a basis for action being taken and this breached Article 7 of the human rights law.
Mr Chick is claiming seven specified amounts of damages, totalling £7,430,326.83 which includes the recovery of salary and a loss of some £6.3m. investment in a company.
He is also seeking unspecified punitive or exemplary damages, to be decided by the court, for ‘reputational damage, emotional distress, inconvenience or other adverse effects suffered by the applicant and his immediate family’.
After being placed before the Ordinary Division of the Royal Court, the matter went onto the pleading list. Mr Chick appeared in person, while the GFSC was represented by Advocate Jason Hill, but he said that the case would be handled by Advocate Philip Nicol-Gent.
The GFSC was given 28 days in which to file defences.
n The GFSC had found that Mr Chick did not meet required standards, including how he handled a foreign property sale for a UK member of parliament. Its actions followed its investigations into the conduct of Mr Chick between 1999 and 2015 as a director of a number of companies, some of which were licensed under the fiduciaries law.