Hogan Lovells

Key Dates

Russell Adams v Options Sipp UK LLP (formerly Carey Pensions UK LLP) and The Financial Conduct Authority [2020] EWHC 1229 (Ch)

Hearing dates: 19 to 23 March 2020.

Judgment given on 18 May 2020.


The defendant was a provider and administrator of self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) that operated on an execution-only basis.  The claimant (the investor) was introduced to the defendant by an unregulated introducer.  The investor sought redress for losses he claimed to have suffered as a result of entering into an investment in an unsuitable property investment fund, which he had instructed the defendant to hold within a SIPP wrapper.

Although the defendant was authorised to establish, operate and wind up SIPPs it had no authority to carry on the regulated activity of advising in respect of them.

The High Court rejected the investor's claims and found in favour of the defendant.

The defendant was not authorised to advise on the SIPP and the contract with the investor was clear that the defendant was not giving advice. The Financial Conduct Authority's Conduct of Business Rules (COBs) cannot be construed as imposing an obligation to advise which would not only be unlawful but which the parties had specifically agreed in their contract not to impose on the defendant. 

Date Accessed: 03/12/2021