Another CMC phoenix rises from the flames?
The claims management company, Allison Allcott Ltd is an FCA registered company[i] who trade as Allison Allcott Claims[ii], yet one of their directors, Leslie Olajugba Charles has a disciplinary history with the Solicitor Regulation Authority[iii] and was a director of the CMC, LS Claims Ltd which was fined by the Claims Management Regulator and given a £16,500 financial penalty In November 2017 after being found in breach of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014.[iv]
LS Claims Ltd is based in Manchester (Chambers Business Centre, Chapel Road Oldham Greater Manchester OL8 4QQ) and trades as the CMC, Ingram Toft.[v]
The firm was incorporated in June 2011 but in January 2012, Leslie Olojugba was appointed, shortly followed by Mary Olojugba. The current director is Clara Alexander but previous directors have included Julie Toft and Foluke Babalola.
Leslie Charles resigned from LS Claims Ltd as a director on 21st April 2016 which was the same month day that solicitor, Leslie Olayinka Olojugba Charles, was closed down[vi] by the Solicitors Regulation Authority[vii] who referred him to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after finding there was a case to answer following an investigation.
Leslie Charles had been the source of a large number of demands for redress for mis sold Payment Protection Insurance and issuing unaffordable loans. It was clear that many complainants had not been sold Payment Protection Insurance at all by firms approached by Leslie Charles and the circumstances relating to unaffordable lending were poorly documented. The intention appeared to be to flood firms with hundreds of complaints in the hope that they would pay out without investigation.
The subsequent hearing took place in February 2017 and the allegations made by the SRA involved improper transfers from client’s accounts[viii]. Mr Charles was ultimately fined £1,000 and advised he could not trade as a sole practitioner[ix] Since then, Mr Charles’s practising certificate has been renewed annually by the SRA with the caveat that he is not a sole manager or sole owner of an authorised body.[x] The latest renewal refers to the following:-
Name: LS Claims LTD T/A Ingram Toft:: Chambers Business Centre, Chapel Road, Oldham, Lancashire OL8 4QQ.
Name: Leslie Charles Solicitors: Wilsons Park Business Centre, 40 Monsall Road, Manchester, Lancashire M40 8WN
Four months after his tribunal, Leslie Charles formed the claims management company Allison Allcott Ltd with co-director, Clara Alexander but he is the majority shareholder. Miss Alexander left in September 2018 and was not replaced until December 2018 by Foluke Babalola (does this mean Mr Charles was a sole trader for those few months?) [xi]
Allison Allcott is also listed as a director for Allison Allcott Claims Ltd which was formed in January 2019 – the only other director is Leslie Charles[xii] Is this acceptable to the SRA?
Leslie Charles and Julie Toft (ex-director of LS Claims Ltd and Ingram Toft Ltd) have also set up the firm, Suits Recruitment Ltd whose registered office is a residential address in Manchester[xiii] in June 2018 – the same month Julie Toft changed the name of Ingram Toft Ltd to Andrew James Ltd.