Ultimate Ethical Forestry Pension Claims Guide

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ETHICAL FORESTRY CLAIMS

Cold-Calling, disappearing financial advisers, hurricanes, liquidations and an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office – Ethical Forestry is in trouble.

But for many the story is not over, and many may still be able to make a claim because they were mis-sold Ethical Forestry through a SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension).

If you invested in Ethical Forestry but haven’t yet explored your options when it comes to making a claim, then speak to a case handler for a free initial assessment – no obligation, just a chat about what options you might have, with the company that won the very first Ethical Forestry SIPP case back in July 2016.

Or, if you’re simply here to read up on Ethical Forestry and find out what’s going on with some of the latest updates, you can find all that below in our Ethical Forestry Updates & Information section.

The administration of Ethical Forestry is currently handled by Shane Biddlecombe of HJS Solutions, who provide updates from time to time, as well as updates on a “potential” or “preferred” buyer for the scheme, who has had difficulty in securing funds from banks in order to fulfil the proposed purchase.

We try to keep it as up-to-date as possible, but if you think we’ve missed anything, drop us a line through our contact form, or just call us up!

Timeline of events: Ethical Forestry

2007 - Company's UK Formation

Of course, that was just the English side of what investors call “Ethical Forestry“, formed on the 17th December 2007.
Set up to market Melina Tree plantations in Costa Rica, the groundwork for the glossy brochures and (admittedly) beautifully presented marketing material began to come together. The plan, as revealed in Money Observer much later in 2012, was to “turn £18,000 into £104,189 over 12 years”, of course, that’s once the Melina trees had all been planted, carefully nurtured and managed, before being harvested and the timber sold. A minimum (at the time) investment of £18,000 bought investors 600 Melina trees.

2012 - Marketing To SIPP Investors

Thousands received cold-calls about making Ethical Forestry investments, either through transferring into a SIPP: Self Invested Personal Pension, or as a cash investment. These calls came from a number of unregulated introducers and a good handful of financial advisers to get things moving when needed.

For many, this involved taking on a “free pension review”, where all old and frozen pension would be reviewed to see if they could perform better in a different pension scheme. Often, the suggestion was to move to a SIPP and invest in this high-risk investment, despite the individual often being told it was safe.

Depending on the financial adviser, other investments such as high-risk overseas property investments (also a commonly mis-sold investment the team at Get Claims Advice deal with regularly) were also recommended in some cases.

2012 - Signs Of Problems

On the 1 December 2014, the Bournemouth Echo ran a headline: “Staff told he would be redundant by Christmas as call centre shuts down”.

This referred to the Holdenhurst Road call centre operation on behalf of Ethical Forestry. According to the article, the reason for the shut down was related to “risk management advice” from lawyers. Staff were told they would receive one months wages, and were sent home, which one worker referred to as “devastating”.

2015 - Administration

2015 brought the news many investors had begun to fear. Ethical Forestry in England went into administration, putting the future of investor’s investments and returns in jeopardy!

2016 - Claims, Hurricanes & The Sun

But by 2016 it wasn’t just Get Claims Advice and a few local media teams looking into the Ethical Forestry story. The Sun newspaper released a couple of quite stinging articles about Ethical Forestry, focusing on the directors “pocketing” £14 million, and Matthew Pickard’s “£4million mansion in Bournemouth”. Meanwhile, the team at Get Claims Advice Ltd kept working hard on those claims on behalf of their clients – effort that is still paying off for many clients.

Hurricane Otto

But 2016 wasn’t over yet, and in November, Hurricane Otto hit Costa Rica, and the plantations were damaged. A 2017 damage report prepared by Shane Biddlecombe of the administrators at HJS Solutions stated the following damage:
Santa Cristobal Plantation: 47% Demolished, 26% Significant Effects
Santa Rita Farm: 36% red category (70% Destruction), 21% Significant Effects
Chimuria Farm: 33% Significant Effects
Brasilia 1, 2 y 3 farms: 27% Significant Effects
El Encanto Farm: 22% Significant Effects
Santa Cecilia Farm: 12% Significant Effects

HMRC

News that the HMRC was claiming £21m from the four companies that helped to promote Ethical Forestry added to woes. The FSCS finished 2016 by saying that they estimated that £50million was to be paid out over negligent advice to invest in Ethical Forestry.

2016 - Serious Fraud Office

On the 8 March 2017, the Serious Fraud Office announced and investigation into the Ethical Forestry group of companies, with Dorset Police executing warrants at 3 related addresses across Poole, Ferndown and Boscombe, at least one of which reportedly involved armed police.

As part of the SFO investigation, a questionnaire was launched for investors to fill in, which asked investors whether they can been approached by companies such as Avacade, Ethical Forestry and Cherish Wealth Management.

Meanwhile, steady progress was being made by Get Claims Advice against several negligent IFAs on behalf of SIPP clients…

Did you know, we’ve made successful claims against Ethical Forestry before?

If you needed any more reason to choose us to take forward your claim, we’ve seen success in the past with claims against Ethical Forestry

Ready to make a claim?

Think you’ve been mis-sold your investment? Click below to take the first step to making a claim

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What are the signs that I’ve been mis-sold?

Ethical forestry was a HIGH RISK investment, and financial advisers should have been making sure you fitted at least one of the following descriptions.

If you didn’t then you may have been mis-sold, and you may be able to claim…

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    SOPHISTICATED INVESTOR

    Do you have a wealth of knowledge and experience in investing?

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    HIGH NET-WORTH 1

    Do you earn in excess of £100,000 per annum?

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    HIGH NET-WORTH 2

    Or do you own £250,000 worth of investable assets?

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