Chairs in cafeteria

Meteor launches judicial review of FOS ruling

06 May 2011

I read with interest yesterday's industry press reports that Meteor Asset Management is to launch a judicial review of an adverse FOS award relating to Lehmans structured products - but I wonder if it will get off the ground.

reported in February on the FOS ruling that Meteor failed to disclose the downgrade in Lehmans' credit rating (to below Standard & Poor’s A+ grade) and, consequently, the investment recommendation was deemed unsuitable thereafter.

Without knowing any of the details, it is hard to comment further on the case but it is common knowledge that judicial review requires an applicant to surmount a notoriously high hurdle by showing that the decision was illegal, irrational, procedurally unfair or contrary to a legitimate expectation.   I assume Meteor will argue irrationality.

Historically, the Ombudsman has a good record of successfully defending judicial reviews of decisions by the Ombudsman because the question is what is (in the opinion of the individual Ombudsman) fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of a case (DISP 3.6.1).  This would suggest a high chance Meteor's application will crash and burn.

On the other hand, the Courts have been more willing to consider judicial review of whether the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to determine a complaint - which is a question of law.  But a recently published decision on jurisdiction (Goff v FOS [2011] EWHC 1112 (Admin)), in which all the sympathies were with the Applicant, upheld the FOS' decision to decline to consider a complaint relating to identity theft on the basis that the victim was not an eligible complainant.