The Upper Tribunal has dismissed claims from an insurance broker that the judge hearing a case over his £150,000 fine and ban from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) would be biased.
The Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Chamber has issued a unanimous verdict against Andrew Jeffery’s complaint that judge Roger Berner would be biased due to his links with Judge Tim Herrington, chairman of the Regulatory Decisions Committee, which ruled on the ban and fine.
Jeffery made the claims in November when he did not know which judge was due to hear his case. ‘The possibility for the FSA and Herrington to be able to “whisper in the right ear”/discuss my case with any of the Tribunal’s judge/judges, whether appointed to my case or not, is unavoidable,’ it said.
Berner, who heard the case, disclosed that he shared an office with Herrington.
The tribunal was unanimous in rejecting the claim from Jeffrey. ‘We do not accept that these circumstances would be regarded by the fair-minded and informed observer as giving rise to any real possibility of bias,’ it said.