Has Meredith Pritchard opened itself up to compensation claims?
How do unregulated timeshare firms operate?
Working in timeshare law, we are unfortunately accustomed to how unregulated companies are operating in the industry. We typically see companies that are being run by unregulated, uninsured directors who charge extortionate fees for their services. Often, these ‘timeshare law’ companies are run by successful ex-timeshare salesmen, but the reality is that they have no qualifications in timeshare law and often do very little, or nothing, actually to help their client who is seeking help. When these companies are eventually uncovered, the good news is that they sometimes open themselves up to compensation claims and trustworthy solicitors can work on behalf of the misused client.
Meredith Prichard exposed as unregulated timeshare claims company.
Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants Ltd (MPCC) and First Law Solutions Ltd (FLS) have now joined the long list of unregulated timeshare companies who have been exposed as failing to provide the services they were selling. Both companies were based at the same address on Nicholas Street in Chester, and both were directed by 59-year-old Stephen Paul Fairclough, of Chester. These companies, like many others like them, offered timeshare claims management services. They promised to help clients get out of their existing timeshare contracts and then pursue compensation claims against providers where necessary.
However, both companies wound-up in the public interest on 22 February 2019. They were put before District Judge Obodai at the High Court-Manchester and the court heard that MPCC traded between October 2016 and August 2017, before FLS continued MPCC’s activities. Clearly, this is a long time to be operating un-regulated, and as such, in this time Confidential enquiries by Insolvency Service investigators found they had targeted a total of 113 customers between the two companies. Each of these clients had been found to have typically paid between £1,950 or £5,950 depending on the services being purchased.
What did the investigation against Meredith Prichard uncover?
The customers had been told that with handing over their money, lawyers based abroad would be instructed – on their behalf – to help them be free from their timeshares and even in some cases seek compensation where possible. David Hope, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, summed up the betrayal of these types of companies when he said: “People genuinely sought out these companies for help to get them out of difficult situations concerning their timeshares”.
Sadly, although the clients were genuine, the intention of MPCC and FLS were not, and these clients were getting anything but help with their difficult situations. In fact, investigators found that although lawyers abroad had indeed been instructed in some cases, neither MPCC or FLS were able to show any significant evidence of compensation being secured or contracts being relinquished for the amount of money they had been paid for their services.
Investigators also revealed the fact that although MPCC and FLS made a staggering combined total of over half a million pounds – £550,000, no payments to overseas lawyers had been made by MPCC. FLS did make some payments but only totalling £13,000 during the period of the investigation which doesn’t even come close to their earnings.
After conducting these investigations, the Insolvency Service presented petitions to the court on the grounds that both companies traded with a lack of commercial probity by failing to provide contracted services promptly or at all. This included accepting payments in respect of non-viable claims, charging excessive fees, and using misleading and aggressive sales techniques.
What can I do If I’ve been affected?
Directors of similar companies are being arrested at last and it is clear the authorities are doing something to battle against these injustices and to take these acts of fraudulent activity seriously. This is why it is so important to choose a regulated solicitor if you are having issues with your timeshare contract.
If you have been a victim of Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants, First Law Solutions or any other unregulated timeshare claims company who has not worked in your best interests, then please feel free to contact the writer, Stephen Boyd, at [email protected].
Our team of dedicated, expert timeshare solicitors will work closely with you to carefully consider your case and advise you on your legal rights. We have years of experience in this industry and many success stories for clients who have been in your position, and we may be able to help you too.
Call 0161 839 8847 today to get in touch with Athena Law today for professional, friendly advice that you can trust.