The independent action group for current and ex Equitable Life policyholders, funded by contributions.

Equitable Members Action Group

Equitable Members Action Group Limited, a company limited by guarantee, number 5471535 registered in the UK

Correspondence: 26/10/2005 - EMAG to the Honourable Mr Justice Langley
The Honourable Mr Justice Langley
Q B D Commercial Court
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL
42, Bartholomew Villas
Kentish Town
London NW5 2LL

26 October, 2005

Your Honour,

In the matters of Equitable Life and 10 former directors: Claim 2002 F 406

I see from my files that it is now more than two years since I started to correspond with you about Equitable Life on behalf of policyholders. I myself have attended Court 76 this year on about one third of the 62 days – probably more than any other layman. EMAG has purchased, at considerable expense to our members, the daily transcripts. You will appreciate how very hard it has been to follow the detail in the trials without our having access to the witness statements and bundles.

As early as 8 April 2005, EMAG wrote to ask, in particular for copies of Mike Arnold’s statements, which were then 360 pages long. We were accorded a quite extraordinary unsigned response to that request from Herbert Smith, dated, 21 April 2005, essentially telling us that no cooperation would be forthcoming from them (copy enclosed).

I have since observed during the trial that several solicitors and Mr Headdon have experienced similar high-handed and contemptuous responses from Herbert Smith.

More than two weeks ago, on 10 October, 2005, Herbert Smith received from EMAG a polite and, as we understand to be the case, an entirely reasonable letter (also enclosed), requesting for a copy of the much redacted witness statement of Mr Mike Arnold introduced that day, plus the statements of both Mr Dumbreck and Mr Cryan, whose testimony was discussed extensively in the cross-examination of Mike Arnold by Mr Headdon.

Herbert Smith has not replied to or acknowledged this letter in any way.

EMAG, therefore, asks you to intercede and either instruct Herbert Smith to comply forthwith or we request that Peter Lane furnish us with the materials requested.

We are conscious, from press reports, that the Society may be about to settle all the remaining claims. However, even if that does happen before you give a judgement, we believe that the documents, having been entered as evidence and discussed in open Court could and should now be available in the public domain on demand.

We ask for your help and regret the need to have to ask.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Braithwaite
General secretary of EMAG Ltd

CC Charles Plant of Herbert Smith
Tel: 020 7267 5938
FYI, see EMAG’s informative website at: www.emag.org.uk