Class Law Letter to Clients 28 Feb 2003

Last Updated: Saturday, March 01, 2003 02:23 PM

Dear Equitable Client


After the Scheme of Arrangement hearing in February 2002, ELAS stated that they would resist all compensation claims by those who left the Society.

We have been concerned not to involve clients in the trauma and anxiety of expensive and uncertain litigation but to achieve a reasonable settlement of their claims if at all possible. For that reason, for the past year, we have been involved in confidential negotiations on your behalf with ELAS and their lawyers Lovells. We have been working in parallel with Irwin Mitchell, solicitors who act for a number of ELAS claimants, as we do.

We are pleased to inform you that those negotiations are beginning to bear fruit but we are now at a most sensitive stage and confidentiality is so essential that, if breached, the whole deal towards which we are working may well be blown apart.

The threat of litigation, coupled with the impending end to standstill agreement has combined to apply unique pressure to ELAS. That pressure may lead to terms that will be offered once only and to the clients of this firm and Irwin Mitchell only.

When the offer has been made, which we hope will occur within the next two weeks, it will be communicated to our clients, and all alternatives to its acceptance will be set out.

Each client will be free to accept or reject the offer, in the knowledge of the consequences of each course of action.

The terms offered may include a payment in respect of the costs and disbursements of the clients of Irwin Mitchell and Class Law. This requirement is essential so that those clients are not penalised for having instructed solicitors. So far as Class Law is concerned, on payment of their fees by ELAS, they will refund the contributions made by clients to them.

We regret that we cannot supply further detail at this stage but for the first time we consider that real progress is being made that would lead to a solution that is preferable to years of litigation with, as we say, all the problems that are inherent to that process.

As soon as there is something concrete to report, we shall do so.

Yours sincerely