Supreme court casts out property spruikers' appeal

by Miklos Bolza07 Nov 2016
An appeal by Wollongong-based property advice firm Park Trent Properties Group has been dismissed by the Supreme Court after the consultancy attempted to overrule an earlier decision banning it from providing unlicensed financial advice.
 
The dismissal ends a lengthy legal case launched in November 2014 by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
 
At the time, the court found that Park Trent had provided unlicensed advice to more than 860 members of the public, recommending they establish and switch funds to an SMSF.
 
The trial spanned from June to October 2015 when the Supreme Court of NSW pronounced its judgment against Park Trent, giving a permanent injunction refraining the firm from offering any unlicensed financial advice regarding SMSFs.
 
Park Trent was also ordered to post a notice on its website outlining the orders made against it.
 
The appeal was taken before the court on 11 October this year with Park Trent contesting the refusal by Justice Ronald Sackville on 11 June 2015 to allow the firm to amend its defence.
 
“I have concluded that there is no appellable error in the decision to refuse an amendment on the sixth day of the trial,” said Justice Mark Leeming when dismissing the appeal on Thursday (3 November).
 
He also concluded that if the amendment had been granted, the final decision of Justice Sackville to order the permanent injunction would not have changed.
 
“Even if Park Trent had been permitted to amend, there would have been no different outcome to the litigation, save that it would have taken longer and been more expensive,” Leeming said.
 
Park Trent has also been ordered to pay ASIC’s costs for the appeal.
 
Related stories:
 
Property adviser banned over dodgy SMSF advice
 
Supreme Court hands down final orders in SMSF property spruiking case
 
ASIC cracks down on property promoter for providing unlicensed financial product advice

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