Clear Legal Marketing Ltd and trading styles
Regulation of a diverse financial services industry is never an easy task as unscrupulous firms can operate outside the regulatory perimeter in a number of ways. The use of Appointed Representatives is something the MoneyCheats project has looked at before and it is often described by critics of the FCA as a regulatory ‘cat flap’ as it potentially allows unsuitable firms to trade without having to go through an authorisation process.
However what about the firms that are authorised by the FCA but their registration details appear incomplete and a firm is actually using more trading names than is listed on the register? Is that considered to be acceptable or the norm?
We have previously written about the claims management company Clear Legal Marketing Ltd who currently hold temporary permissions with the FCA but who appear to be using other trading names which are not listed.
What the FCA website says
What the Internet shows
Type in the company number into Google and you encounter numerous other trading styles which seemingly belong to Clear Legal Marketing Ltd but are not listed on the FCA register. The trading names cover a variety of claim types including pensions, housing disrepairs, payday loans and medical negligence, with a few examples shown below:-
A click on some of the links show the information is presented in the footer e.g:-
This is not the first time that website discrepancies involving Clear Legal Marketing Ltd have been discovered.
In November 2018, we reported how the trading name, Payday Reclaim used to belong to the CMC, Two Legal Services Ltd who surrendered their license in October 2017 . The company was dissolved that month, presumably by director and majority shareholder, Matthew John Osborn. who now runs the CMC, Chadney-Smith Associates Ltd instead. Mathew Osborn is also a former shareholder of Clear Legal Marketing Ltd (along with Mark Kennedy and Carolina Costa) as shown below and therefore perhaps explains the cross over of the trading name, Payday Reclaim.
Payday Loan Fightback
In August 2019, we noted how Clear Legal Marketing Ltd trading as Payday Loan Fightback did not appear to be complying with FCA advertising requirements on its website; no obvious prominent statement that a claim can be made to a statutory ombudsman/compensation scheme without using a CMC and without incurring a fee or indeed including prominent information relating to fees and termination fees which the customer may have to pay if a firm uses the term ‘no win, no fee’ or a term with similar meaning. There is just a tiny statement at the bottom of the home page: we will not charge you anything unless your claim is successful. If your claim is successful our fees are 36% inc VAT (30% + VAT).
Tenant Refund Services and Tenant Caseworth
In the same month an article by Nearly Legal regarding CMC’s looked at the website, Tenant Refund Services which detailed a link to the law firm, Clear Law LLP but found it was subsequently changed to Clear Legal Marketing Ltd:-
Further overlap of the companies was also be seen via a google search showing the website TenantCaseworth as a trading name of Clear Legal Marketing Ltd (see screenshot below) but this trading name is not also listed on the FCA register.
The Nearly Legal article expressed concern that a CMC has potentially obtained a referral fee from a law firm which was run by the same individual. An overlap with Matthew Corbett’s law firm, Clear Law LLP is demonstrated by a PDF link provided on the Nearly Legal article which shows TenantCaseworth is also a trading style of Clear Law LLP:-
National Claims Help and Payday Loan Refund
Yet the paydayloanrefund.org.uk website states it is a trading style of Express Remortgages Ltd who also trade as Express Claims:-
Overall, a very bizarre set of circumstances indeed!
 https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/details.aspx/29912/Two_Legal_Services_Ltd_Dissolved_/?search=simple&category=BusinessName&text=Two+Legal+Services+Ltd+++(Dissolved)§ors=&statuses=&dates=&startdate=00010101&enddate=99991231  https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07489642/filing-history  https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/1048458dxGHB /officers  https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2019/08/we-need-to-talk-about-claims-farmers/  https://431bj62hscf91kqmgj258yg6-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/tcwTerms-Conditions.pdf