Friday, July 27, 2012

Five nominations for GLC at Law Awards of Scotland

Govan Law Centre has received five nominations in four categories at the 2012 Law Awards of Scotland. The nominations were revealed at the Corinthian Club in Glasgow last night. GLC was nominated in the following categories:

* Law Firm of the Year (under 40 fee earners)
* Corporate Social Responsibility Firm of the Year
* Trainee Solicitor of the Year (Christine McKellar and Laura Simpson)
* Solicitor of the Year (Mike Dailly)

Govan Law Centre is delighted that its excellent team and achievements, as a campaigning community law centre, have been recognised by such a distinguished panel of independent judges.

The winners of the 2012 Law Awards of Scotland will be announced at a ceremony to be held in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on 13 September.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Consumer challenges facing the UK's insurance industry

A link to GLC's Principal Solicitor's speech to the UK Industry Summit on Consumer Insurance Law and Regulation in London on Tuesday, 17 July 2012. Mike was speaking on behalf of the FSCP at the Infoline event, and discussed the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012, forthcoming law reform, the Revision to the EU Insurance Mediation Directive and various challenges the industry faced to deliver better quality, value for money and outcomes for UK consumers of insurance products.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Farepak: will the insolvency practitioner gravy train ever stop?


Over 100,000 victims of the Farepak Christmas club, which collapsed in 2006, will now receive almost 50 pence in the pound, primarily thanks to a charitable fund (17.5 pence) and a new £8m ex gratia payment from LloydsTSB (19 pence).

The work of the insolvency practitioners, BDO LLP, netted 13 pence in the pound yet their fees and outlays cost 19 pence in the pound; £8.2m - in other words they charged 60 pence to recover 40 pence.

The OFT's market study into this industry uncovered market failure in 2010. Big secured creditors, like banks, were able to exert some control over corporate insolvency practitioners (IP) fees and outlays. Yet, the OFT found in 40% of cases where unsecured small creditors were involved there was little or no oversight of IP fees and charges.

GLC's Mike Dailly speaks to BBC Radio 4's Money Box on the apparent licence that IPs have to print money, with little or no effective regulation from the UK Insolvency Service. In GLC's experience a similar problem exists in relation to IP fees and charges in the personal insolvency market.

GLC would like to see the OFT's recommendations - including an independent complaints body with real legal teeth to review IP fees and charges, and the power to impose fines - implemented.

The Insolvency Service consultation on these issue last year produced major industry opposition for any real change. Hardly surprising, when the present system represents the lightest touch of regulation for one of the most expensive and well paid industries in the world. An industry that frequently costs considerably more than it generates in recovered income.