10/03/2010

Gordons LLP appointed by SRA on Consumer Credit Litigation Solicitors intervention

Set out below is information provided by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Gordons LLP in relation to the closure of Consumer Credit Litigation Solicitors (CCLS) of Building 5, Universal Square, Devonshire Street North, Manchester, Lancashire, M12 6JH

The above firm has been intervened into (in other words, closed down) by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The intervention protects the immediate position and safeguards documents and clients’ money held by this firm. The SRA has appointed a law firm as its Agent to take possession of clients’ files to keep them safe.

The Agent for CCLS is Victoria Davey of Gordons LLP of 14 Piccadilly, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 3LX, DX: 11716 Bradford (Tel no: 0845 120 3204).

Please note that the intervention does not relate to Cartel Client Review Ltd as we do not regulate claims management companies.

What Happens Now?

CCLS is now closed and is no longer able to act for you. The Agent is not acting for you in place of CCLS. Former clients of CCLS will be contacted by the Agent as quickly as possible. The reason the Agent will be writing to you is because they have recovered documents belonging to you. You may receive more than one letter from the Agent if CCLS was dealing with more than one claim for you. You need to decide what you want to happen to your papers.

You will receive a form of authority attached with your instructions as to what you would like to happen to your file.

If you would like the Agent to send your file somewhere, please insert the full details of where you would like the file to be sent. If you would like your file to be confidentially destroyed, please indicate this on the form. Before deciding which course of action to take we recommend that you carefully consider the terms & conditions you entered into with Cartel Client Review. Please note that you will need to provide the Agent with copy identification documents before they can act on your authority. If the firm was acting for more than one person in relation to a claim, both people will need to complete the form.

If you do not contact the Agent your file will eventually be destroyed although that may not happen for a number of years.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need legal advice or new solicitors?
We recommend that you consider the advice given by the Ministry of Justice relating to consumer credit claims (https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/consumers.aspx) or If you decide to proceed with your case, you should consider the following options:

  • Take legal advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Law Centre; or
  • Find out if you have access to a legal helpline through your household/car insurance, bank or building society or Trade Union; or
  • Find a new solicitor to act for you in your claim. If you do wish to instruct a new solicitor, we recommend that you make them aware of the terms & conditions you may have signed with either Cartel Client Review or CCLS; or
  • Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to see if they will consider your concerns about the credit agreement(s) you entered into. Their contact details are as follows:
  • The Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR, Consumer helpline: 0300 123 9123 or 0845 080 1800, http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/

What about money I have paid?
The SRA regulates only solicitors and their firms. It is not responsible for any other bodies such as claims management companies. The SRA cannot deal with any complaints you have or any claims for refunds of money paid in relation to anyone other than CCLS. If you wish to complain about a claims management company you should consider the information set out in the Ministry of Justice’s website: https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/consumers.aspx.

If you have paid money to the claims management company on your credit card you may want to contact your credit card provider to see if they are able to provide you with a refund.

If you have concerns about the recovery of money you paid to the claims management company, you may wish to contact the claims management company or seek independent legal advice.

How do I complain?
If you want to complain about the service you received from CCLS, you should contact the Legal Complaints Service (www.legalcomplaints.org.uk – helpline open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 17.00, 0845 608 6565). You should make your complaint within six months of knowing that there was a problem. (This is likely to be when the intervention took place, at the latest).

The LCS helps consumers who have a complaint about the service provided by solicitors. However, you should consider whether it is worth making a complaint, especially if some of the difficulties you have experienced have been caused by the intervention, rather than poor service by the solicitors before the intervention took place.

Whilst the LCS can award compensation for distress and inconvenience, the amount may be small and there is no guarantee that the solicitors will be able to pay the award. The solicitor’s insurers may pay out if the LCS makes an award, but this is not guaranteed Awards of compensation for distress and inconvenience directed by the LCS are not covered by the Compensation Fund.

Please note the LCS will not be able to direct CCLS to compensate you for any money you have paid to the claims management company.

Can I get a refund of money paid to CCLS?
As explained above, the SRA cannot deal with claims for money paid to any body other than CCLS, so we cannot help you obtain a refund of money you might have paid to Cartel Client Review. However, if CCLS was holding your money, you should apply to the Claims Management Unit of the Compensation Fund at the SRA.

For more details about the Compensation Fund, please visit
www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/solicitor-owes-money.page
or contact the Claims Management Unit on 01926 487015 or by email on
claims.management@sra.org.uk

Debt problems
Please note neither we nor our Agent can give personal advice on debt matters. If you are having difficulty repaying debts, you should think about getting in touch with a free specialist debt-advice service such as:

Burleys Solicitors
CCLS also traded as Burleys Solicitors of 64 Balderton Gate, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 1UN. Burleys Solicitors is also subject to this intervention and a separate Agent has been appointed to deal with that. If Burleys acted for you, you will be contacted separately by the Agent.

General Queries
If any query you have is not answered by this information sheet, you may wish either to telephone the Agent or email your query to them at intervention@gordonsllp.com and they will respond and try their best to help you.