Slater and Gordon UK under investigation for potential insurance-related commissions

Over 100 claims have been made by the firm’s ex-clients

Slater and Gordon UK under investigation for potential insurance-related commissions

Slater and Gordon UK is under investigation for potentially gaining profit through “undisclosed” insurance-related commissions, the Law Society Gazette reported.

According to the publication, over 100 claims have been made by the firm’s ex-clients in relation to ATE insurance deductions. Costs recovery company has been tapped to represent these clients.

The cases have been set before costs judge Jason Rowley of the Senior Courts Costs Office in London. Last Saturday, Rowley presided over a hearing in line with a request from the claimant in lead case Piper v Slater & Gordon.

The request, made under civil procedure rules, raised the question of whether Slater and Gordon UK had profited financially through commissions or other benefits through after-the-event insurance policies that were part of the firm’s agreements with retainers with personal injury clients. The claimant’s counsel, Robin Dunne, said during the Saturday hearing that “clear evidence” existed to prove that Slater and Gordon UK-owned company Intelligent Claims Management (ICM) had received commissions.

The administrators of ATE provider Elite Insurance had acted as the underwriters of the policies being scrutinised, and confirmed Dunne’s claim in their submission. According to the administrators, ICM had been paid what they said was a £30 “claims handling fee.”

Dunne called Slater and Gordon UK’s failure to inform clients that a commission was being received by a business to which it was connected an “obvious concern,” the Gazette reported.

The firm argued against the claims, doubling down on its confidence in its retainers. Defendant counsel Robert Marven said that the claimants were looking to make allegations regarding poor advice that they had received, but they had pursued the wrong method and jurisdiction.

“They have started in not only the completely wrong way but the wrong place. It is entirely unexplained why they need answers to these submissions,” Marven said in a statement published by the Gazette.

Dunne pointed out that defending the application had cost Slater and Gordon £30,000.

“Here, because of the nature of the administrators’ disclosure they gave, there is a serious and significant issue. The question is whether there is a question that needs answering and whether it is proportionate and reasonable to have to answer it,” Dunne said. “All the claimant wants is essentially some sunlight on these issues and what the defendant seeks to do is spend huge amounts of money seeking to avoid answering a very simple and pertinent question.”

He said that the evidence provided ought to negate arguments that the application was a “fishing expedition,” and that the court was able to adjust clients’ cash account.

Rowley did not issue a ruling after the Saturday hearing.

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