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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10457
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I deposited £10,000 with DCJ Management Ltd expecting them

Customer Question

I deposited £10,000 with DCJ Management Ltd expecting them to financial advice to me. I received an invoice for around £4,000 which was fine, but due to a change in circumstances I no longer needed to continue the work. I asked the owner of the company for a final statement on a couple of occasions but received no response. I have not been well for some time and when I again try to follow this up I find that the company is no longer trading. I have a mobile phone number for the owner but it just cuts me off when I speak. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. Do you know if this limited company, DCJ Management Ltd has been wound up? Was there a liquidator appointed? Have you spoken to David Croucher Jones concerning the monies? Did you give the monies to David Croucher Jones personally? What proportion of the £10,000 was used up by the provision of financial advice ie how much is now outstanding?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have just checked and the company was dissolved 7th July 2015. I have no idea about a liquidator. If it is still his mobile phone number he doesn't take my calls so I have not been able to speak to him. I gave him a cheque for £10,000 when I signed the paperwork. I can't find it, but there was an invoice for around £4,000, which is acceptable, but I notified him in writing soon after that I would no longer need his services. I expected a final statement and between £5,000 to £6,000 to be returned with this statement.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. In law, DCJ Management Ltd were only bailees (holders) of your money. They had no right to appropriate these monies until such times as they provided the necessary services. So the law is that even if they went into liquidation, these monies were bound to be returned to you as they did not constitute an asset of the limited company. However, the way you get your monies back is to write to the liquidator and David Croucher Jones. The liquidator has an obligation in law to account to you for the monies in priority to all the assets of the company. Additionally, as David Croucher Jones was controller of the company he had a personal duty to inform the liquidator of this fact. So if he wrongly represented to the liquidator this £6,000 was an asset of the company, he has a personal liability to you for the monies. Ultimately, you will have to sue the liquidator and David Croucher Jones for the return of the monies. So I would suggest at this stage that you get a solicitor to formally write to the liquidator and David Croucher Jones seeking the return of the monies. It is essential to act fast, as if the liquidator starts to disperse monies, you will never get any money from him. Additionally, David Croucher Jones might seek to hide behind the shield of the corporate structure and limited liability. So act quickly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have no idea who the liquidator was and I have no address for David Croucher-Jones, so where would any letter go?

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. Here, you or your solicitor will have to search the records for the company in Companies House. It will contain the addresses of the directors, including David Croucher Jones, the registered address of the company and the name and address of any liquidator appointed. Here you will find a paper trail which will enable you to know where any letter or legal proceedings should go.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I know how to look at records in companies house. I have done this on numerous occasions, but the registered office and another location where he traded from are no longer relevant. He has also moved home location twice. Financially I am not now in a position to follow this up with a solicitor who will cost an arm and leg as far as I am concerned so will have to give up

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
4. If you don't want to employ a solicitor, then do it yourself. You can search the records in Companies House. These will tell you if a liquidator has been appointed. Be aware that in law, if this company has not been struck off, any legal proceedings needs to be served on the company at its registered address. So you will need to know this anyway. If you know where DAvid Croucher Jones now lives, then serve him with legal proceedings at his home address. You can draft the legal proceedings yourself. It will be worth your while for £6,000. Get help from the Citizens Advice Bureau. They will provide you with a debt recovery precedent. Here you need to state that the company and David Croucher Jones were bailees not debtors of the company. If you make it a debt, then your claim would be defeated by insolvency. So make sure you state they were bailees.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The company was struck off and dissolved 7th July 2015. I have not been well for some time and this is an issue that I don't think I can follow up. I certainly can't afford a solicitor at the moment

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
5. If you are sick and don't think you can follow it up yourself, then reach an agreement with someone who is willing to follow it up. Give them a percentage of any recovery so as to make it worth their while and get them to do it. All you will have to do is sign any documents. Don't involve a solicitor. There are many people who are underemployed who would love the chance to make some money. The alternative is to give up on life and lie in bed every morning!!!
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10457
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
Buachaill and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Following your advice I knew that I would not be able to follow it myself, mainly for personal health reasons. I contacted a solicitor to follow up but have not even had the courtesy of a returned call, so I am no further forward.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
6. I am sorry to hear that. I would suggest you follow it up again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Between yesterday and today I have spent a lot of time liaising with Gumersalls of Epsom and Bowles &co, also of Epsom. Between these two companies they do not want to take up the matter. I guess this is also why a third solicitor based in the Croydon area the other week also failed to come back to me.

As far as Gumersalls were concerned it was clearly too small to deal with even though they have taken £30,000 plus from to resolve my late parents estate.

On speaking to Tom at Bowles & Co he felt that because the company was now dissolved that it would be money spent in litigation that could achieve nothing. He felt that because the company was dissolved that there would not be a liquidator. He did suggest that a fraud had taken place and that it was a matter for the police. I am already dealing with them on another matter to do with my father

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

For your information I have also spoken to the Financial Conduct Authority who could not help from a regulation point of view. They suggested the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales who were unable to help because the company is not registered with them.

If I remember correctly I believe David Croucher Jones was a member of the Accounting Technicians and there seems to be no regulatory body surrounding them!

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
7. There is an Association of Accounting Technicians in the UK, who enforce disciplinary standards on all their members. Accordingly, if David Croucher Jones was a member of the Accounting Technicians you can seek redress here. Here is a link https://www.aat.org.uk/about-aat/aat-standards/complaints-about-aat-members. Be aware that they cannot award money damages as part of their disciplinary process. However, if you do make a complaint and DAvid Croucher JOnes wants to hold onto his professional qualification, it is likely that he will pay up.8. I am surprised at the attitude of the solicitors' firms you have spoken with. I would suggest you speak to a smaller single practitioner firm where they will do the work for a cut of the returns. The solicitors you seem to be speaking with seem quite cosy as they won't do the work for you even though they have earned quite substantial fees from you or your family in other matters.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

On the Epsom solicitors that I mentioned, they are based in Surrey, the richest county in the country and they are full of their own importance, They do not do the legal profession any favours, which is why I tried a solicitor a little further afield based in Croydon. I will have another look around for solicitors but they all seem to be larger companies that I find.

I will defer on following up with AAT until I have a clearer picture froma solicitor

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
9. Let me know how you get on.

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