High profile pension lawyer John Quarrell has lashed out at the financial regulators which shut down his company, accusing them of victimisation and underhanded behaviour.
On 14 October, judges at the High Court wound up his Freedom SIPP business after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) brought a legal action against him for tax irregularities.
HMRC says it brought the case - with FSA backing - in the interests of Freedom SIPP members.
However, Quarrell, a former head of pensions at Nabarro Nathanson and ex-chair of the Association of Pension Lawyers, claims the two financial regulators colluded against him to ruin his reputation.
"People cannot believe what happened in court," he told Professional Pensions, a sister title of Professional Adviser. "I have serious concerns about these regulatory bodies."
Freedom SIPP is now in the hands of the liquidators. It had been feared members would face a 40% tax charge, however, this was averted in a later court hearing.
Quarrell, who led notable pension cases such as the battle between British Airways Pension Scheme and the airline over the use of scheme surplus, admits his SIPP business owes thousands in tax.
However, he says the funds were accessible and the bill could be paid but claims the FSA and HMRC had refused to work with him to find a solution.
"All the money is there but they did not want to work with me," he says. "All HMRC had to do was agree to our proposals and work together. It is just a matter of reconciliation.
"If I had taken any money I would be in Venezuela not rain-sodden Lancashire. The FSA said it is concerned for members; well I have money in that fund too."
Quarrell also claims HMRC did not comply with legal disclosure requirements - and he only received key documents on the case when he arrived at court to represent himself.
He also says documents were removed from his Bury offices, making it impossible for him to run his business.
A spokesperson for HMRC says: "Our legal obligation to maintain customer confidentiality means we are unable to offer comment on the tax affairs of named individuals or organisations under any circumstances." The FSA declined to comment.
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