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Court of Appeal grants Holmcroft Properties permission to appeal in landmark ‘skilled persons’ judicial review case against KPMG


On 23rd February 2017 a single Lord Justice of Appeal granted permission to Holmcroft Properties to appeal against the dismissal of its application for judicial review against KPMG acting as a ‘skilled person’ under the redress scheme established and overseen up by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of mis-sold Interest Rate Hedging Products (‘IRHPs’).

The background to these proceedings was the discovery of serious and widespread failings in the sales of IRHPs by a number of large United Kingdom banks, following which the Financial Conduct Authority reached an agreement with the banks to provide appropriate redress where mis-selling had occurred.

Pursuant to the agreement, each of the banks agreed to establish a redress scheme under the oversight of an ”independent reviewer” approved by the FCA as a “skilled person” pursuant to section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

The appeal raises a fundamental question about the susceptibility of ‘private’ bodies such as KPMG to judicial review as exercising public law functions.

The appeal, which is being watched closely by the financial services market, is due to be heard in late December 2017.

Richard Gordon QC and Malcolm Birdling are instructed by Mishcon de Reya on behalf of Holmcroft Properties.