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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
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Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I have had a company offering to claim compensation for my

Customer Question

I have had a company offering to claim compensation for my endowment policies that had shortfall but have all now ended a few years ago. They have offered to get the compensation on a no win no fee basis, with fee of 30% plus VAT being payable when successful. This is OK for me but the agreement I need to sign is not very clear about the no win no fee. Also I was not sure if I could still claim for mis-selling after such a long time.
I could attach the one page agreement I need to sign. The company (my claim solved ltd) assure me that they are regulated by the Ministry of Justice and Claims Regulator and their agreement has been checked by the authorising bodies. Should I be wary?
Santi
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today.

How much are you claiming? When did the policies end?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


There were 5 policies, 3 with Lloyds Bank (Scottish Widdows) for 50k, 30k and 10 k, and 1 with standard life for 80k and 1 with Scottish amicable (Prudential) for 42k. The Lloyds (20 year and 15 year policies) were due to mature 2015 but I surrendered them about 2 years ago because there was a big shortfall, and the other two matured 2 years ago. Total of shortfalls probably about 40k. My main concern is the wording of the no win no fee agreement as I want to be sure if the claim company cannot charge me costs if they are unsuccessful. I have attached a copy of the agreement. Thank you.


Santi

Attachment: 2014-01-16_181443_mr__mrs_vathenen_tc.pdf

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your patience.

I have had a look at the T&C's that you sent me and would make the following points.

1. You have a 14 day cooling off period from the date you sign thr agreement. So within 14 days you can change your mind and not incur any costs.

2. You do not have to purchase any type of legal expenses insurance - so there is no additional cost to you.

3. If you lose you pay nothing whatsoever - if you win the company will deduct 30% plus VAT which is clearly a very substantial deduction from say £40K.

4. If you change your mind after the cooling off period and cancel the arrangement or go elsewhere the company states: "...a fee may be payable if a case is not pursued at the clients request once the claim has been processed by the Company..."

5. You do not need a claims management company to pursue this type of claim. The advantage is they know what to do and can get on and process the claim quickly. But this knowledge comes at a very high price.

6. You could pursue the claim yourself. Thus saving a substantial deduction in fees. If the endowment company rejects your claim you have the right to go to the Financial Ombudsman _ this is a free government backed service to deal with this type of claim.

I hope this assists.

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex


Just one clarification please. Clause 3.7 (I have pasted below) seemed confusing to me. It implies that I will only not be liable for charges if I terminate the agreement and they proceed with the claim. Not sure what this means. Also there is no mention elsewhere in the agreement that I will not be liable for charges if the claim is unsuccessful. I am happy with the clause that states that I will be liable for charges if I terminate the agreement after the cooling off period but before the claim is processed.


The other problem I saw was that this was an open ended agreement, which meant the claims company could take years to process the claim harrassing me for more information until I got fed up and wanted to cancel the agreement at which point they could charge me for their costs up to that point - may be I am being cynical but the deal seems too good to be true as I really would like to take it as I do not have the time or inclination to do it myself. Thank you.


Santi


 


3.7 if the Client terminates this Agreement but authorises My Claim Solved Ltd to proceed
with the Claim, if the Claim is unsuccessful and no Compensation is payable to the Client, the
Client will not be liable to pay the sum referred to in clause 3.6 above or any monies
whatsoever in respect of the Claim; and for the avoidance of doubt not be liable for any
charge in respect of the Claim if the Claim is pursued and the Company awards no
Compensation.

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
I will have a further look at the agreement and come back to you - but if you're unhappy about the arrangement then, of course, you should not sign the agreement.

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