Hit BBC show “The Apprentice” star and business tycoon Lord Sugar has recently attacked both injury claims management companies and those that introduce them.
Taking issue with so-called “no win no fee” adverts that are aggressively marketed on TV, Lord Sugar likened their behaviour to that of vultures in a recent debate. Concerning the report recently released by Lord Young of Graffham, the debate revolved around the possibly misleading nature of such adverts when they claim consumers can receive substantial personal injury compensation awards.
Lord Sugar stated that some of these claims management companies are not even injury solicitors at all but simply brokers who happen to sell their inquiries on to solicitor firms instead.
Lord Young’s report, which was entitled “Common Sense, Common Safety,” was primarily focused on personal injury compensation cases. An overlying theme of the report however as referenced by Lord Young was the perceived compensation culture of the UK.
The report makes the call for restrictions to be put in place by how referral agencies and brokers operate, in addition to putting contrls in place for the type and value of advertising. These recommendations echo the decisions the Ministry of Justice made in their regulation of the financial claims management industry in their efforts to end advertising that could mislead consumers.
Earlier in this past year several high-visibility claims handlers were shuttered, including Cartel Client Review, one of the largest of its type.
Both the Advertising Standards Agency and the Ministry of Justice have been scrutinising claims management company adverts for some time. The ASA recently banned one advert put out by Belmont Thorton, stating that the claims firm was misleading in referring to their services as “no win, no fee” when their client incurred costs if their case was not pursued after a 14 day period.
Prime Minister David Cameron commented on the report by stating that the rise of compensation culture in the UK has been a negative influence, as people have been absolving themselves from any responsibility for their personal actions as a result.
Lord Sugar continued in the debate, saying: “The new breed of these – I am sorry to call them this – vulture-type lawyers knows…it is almost a licence to print money if you can convince a member of the public to make a claim.
“Something has to be done about these rogues.”