Press release

Ban for PPI claims management director who breached compensation regulations

Christopher Ross White, the director of a Swansea based company dealing in PPI claims management, has given an undertaking preventing him from running a company for nine years from 2 March 2017.

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On 3 October 2015, following an investigation by the Ministry of Justice Claims Management Regulation Unit, the company was found to be in breach of parts of the Compensation (Claims Management Services) Regulations 2006 and a fine was imposed upon the company.

The business subsequently went into liquidation on 2 November 2015 owing £1,209,601 to creditors, including the £567,423 Ministry of Justice fine.

Following complaints from the general public, the Ministry of Justice Claims Management Regulation Unit had earlier carried out an investigation into Rock Law’s procedures and found that it failed to comply with the conditions of it’s authorisation and meet the standards of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules (CAPR) 2014.

Rock Law:

  • was contracting with clients during the initial sales call or shortly afterwards, not allowing clients sufficient time to consider pre-contractual documentation
  • failed to monitor sales agents and failed to exercise sufficient control over them and/or failed to ensure that the training of staff was adequate resulting in staff giving misleading content during sales calls
  • failed to maintain appropriate records and audit trails showing the company had conducted itself responsibly overall, acted with professional diligence and complied with the rules; as a consequence of the lack of records, was unable to evidence compliance with the CAPR.

Sue Macleod, an Insolvency Service Chief Investigator of Insolvent Investigations, Midlands & West said:

The Compensation (Claims Management Services) Regulations 2006 are there to ensure the general public is offered protection from over zealous sales techniques by agents for companies operating within the claims management sector.

Director’s have a duty to ensure they exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence over company operations and that they do not allow the company to breach legislation resulting in financial penalties which impact upon the company continued success. This should serve as a warning to other directors who may feel tempted to breach legislation intended to serve as protection for the public.

Notes to editors

Rock Law Limited (CRO08131793) was incorporated on 05 July 2012 and traded from a premises at Suite A, Floor 2, Princess House, Princess Way, Swansea, SA1 3LW. Mr White became sole director on 25 March 2014 and remained so until liquidation (02 November 2015).

Mr White is of Swansea and his date of birth is September 1982.

The matters of unfitness that Mr White accepted in the disqualification undertaking were that he breached his fiduciary duties to Rock Law Limited in that he failed to exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence resulting in the Ministry of Justice investigating the company operations and consequently fines of £567,423 being imposed upon the company for breaches of legislation of The Compensation (Claims Management Services) Regulations 2006. Rock Law Limited failed to pay the fine as required and went into liquidation with a deficiency as regards to creditors in the sum of £1,194,270.

On 3 October 2015, Rock Law was informed that due to the failures the company was liable to a financial penalty of £567,423 due for payment in full no later than 30 October 2015. The company failed to make any payment and went into liquidation on 02 November 2015.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: Insolvent Investigations, Midlands & West, 4th Floor, Cannon House, 18 Priory Queensway, Birmingham B4 6FD. Tel: 0121 698 4000. Email: Adminteam.Midlands&west@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.

The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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Published 14 March 2017