Alan Shearer settles £9m ‘negligent’ financial advice claim

Ex-England footballer and Match of the Day pundit, Alan Shearer, has reached an out of court settlement with his former financial adviser over allegations of ‘negligent’ financial advice.

The 46-year-old former Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle player was suing independent financial adviser (IFA), Kevin Neal and pensions specialist, Suffolk Life, for £9 million.

Shearer alleged that Neal had been “careless” and “dishonest”, while Suffolk Life had breached its fiduciary and regulatory duties.

Both Neal and Suffolk Life disputed Shearer’s claims, with Neal describing them as driven by “pure greed and ego”.

Barrister Gerard McMeel, who was leading Shearer’s legal team, told the judge that the negligence claims relate to pension investments.

Mr McMeel said the professional negligence claims centred on decisions made relating to a personal pension which had been worth more than £4 million. Shearer had been given “negligent investment advice” and wanted £9 million damages, he added.

Mr McMeel told the judge that Shearer had “limited knowledge or experience” of making investments and both Shearer and his wife relied on professional advisers and “those with responsibility to look after their interests”.

Neal suggested that the judge would have to decide whether the Shearers were “naive” or “sophisticated” investors and told the court that the Shearers had made “serious money” out of one investment fund.

Neal was director of IFA firm, Kevin Neal Associates, when he gave the advice to Shearer.

In 2011 Kevin Neal Associates stopped trading and the advice firm went into default in February 2016 according to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The firm has faced legal action from a ‘number of former clients’ according to its liquidator’s report and it’s professional indemnity insurer voided policies between 2004 and 2011 ‘on the basis that the director made incorrect statements on the proposal forms’.

A Suffolk Life spokeswoman said in a statement: “Suffolk Life confirms that the case between it and Mr and Mrs Shearer has been settled on mutually satisfactory terms and with no admission of liability.”

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