Mornington Peninsula pharmacist Trevor Pollard and wife Joyce began proceedings against Wealthcare Financial Planning and its principal Greg Roberts in Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday.
The Pollards lost $600,000 after investing part of a retirement nest egg in two Sydney-based Westpoint finance schemes, York Street and Market Street mezzanine funds, now in liquidation.
Wealthcare is a boutique firm based in Shepparton with a branch office in Melbourne's upmarket Toorak Road.
Slater and Gordon lawyer Ben Phi, acting on behalf of the Pollards, said the first Victorian case had been a long-time coming.
"It has taken nearly a year to prepare the legal action because of the number of claimants, the complexity of the issues and the due diligence required in each case," Phi said.
"We expect that other similar claims will follow shortly."
Slater and Gordon has taken class actions in Queensland against financial planning group Branelley and in New South Wales against the country's largest dealer group, Professional Investment Services.
The legal process against Westpoint has been hampered by revelations many financial planners who recommended the products were uninsured, had limited professional indemnity insurance or were authorised representatives for now defunct dealer groups.
The first company director of Westpoint group to face criminal charges, Neil Burnard, will appear before the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on February 20.
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