Perren Consultants Ltd – a struck off solicitor, a disgraced director & many dubious links
Last week’s article published by Legal Futures 'Solicitor brass plated the practices of others' initially does not appear to have any connection to the claims management company, Perren Consultants Ltd until you start to read the tribunal report and learn that in 2015/16, the company’s bank account was the recipient of £140,731.97 of misappropriated funds.
Records on Companies House show Perren Consultants Ltd has changed its name 3 times since 2010, its location 7 times and has also had 21 officers over the years. The newly struck off solicitor, Giles Guy Robertson became the company’s director in 2012 and remained so until his final resignation in October 2016.
At the same time, Giles Guy Robertson was a director of Total Debt Relief Ltd - the debt management company which was wound up by the FCA last year on public interest grounds.
The tribunal report confirms that Giles Guy Robertson was employed as a Solicitor by James O’Connor who ran Barrington Lewis Law, a PI firm which was closed down by the SRA in 2016 on suspicions of dishonesty. Mr O’Connor had a head office and several branches and allowed Robertson to practise separately in a branch office in Stockport called Madison Legal.
In a post regarding Total Debt Relief Ltd, the Legal Beagles website reports how the Madison Legal website in 2016 stated, “Madison Legal” is an authorised agent of Minus 5 Media Ltd trading as: “Madison Financial”.
Minus 5 Media Ltd was the former name of Perren Consultants Ltd.
The tribunal reported how an analysis of Madison Legal’s account showed £140,731.97 was transferred from the Madison Legal clients account to the office account between September15 – March16. This was then transferred to another account ending in 2672, which Barclays confirmed belonged to Perren Consultants Ltd, and whose sole signatory was Giles Guy Robertson at the times the transactions were made.
The tribunal found Robertson’s explanation as “implausible, incomprehensible, irrational and incredible” and he was subsequently struck off and jointly ordered to pay £57,000 in costs.
Other previous directors of Perren Consultants have also got a story to tell:-
Sarah Louise Tabor-Thickett – was a director from 2014 – 2016, which overlaps with her directorship of Total Debt Relief Ltd An article in the Mirror revealed the FCA reported how substantial misappropriated sums had been transferred out of the UK in chunks of £250,000, £200,000 and £150,000, although Ms Tabor-Thickett denied any knowledge of the transfers to the newspaper. Yet Ms Tabor-Thickett was the joint recipient of the FCA’s first Supervisory Notice in August 2018 and which noted the following: “Owing to its business model as a ‘full and final’ debt settlement firm, the Firm’s clients have accumulated significant amounts of client money held within the Firm. The potential for some or all of that client money to be paid to a third-party in upfront fees may make the Firm customer base an attractive proposition to a buyer. The Authority further notes that the Firm’s terms and conditions potentially allow it to (broadly speaking) transfer customers to a third-party Firm.”
Samuel Levy – Was a director for Perren Consultants Ltd for the periods of March 2013 – September 2013 and July 2014 – Jan 2015. For the gap im-between these periods, Levy was a director of the existing CMC, Claims Legal Ltd but now runs Will Tree Consulting Ltd after replacing Nicky Ormerod in February 2019 - the latter being the director of CMC, Savvy Claims Ltd and the subject of our previous blog; 'the CMC which is savvy by name but savvy by nature?
Jean-Michael Soopramanien – A Director for March 2013 – September 2013 and July 2014 – January 2015, when he left to become a director and debt management consultant for Total Solutions (North West) Ltd. His co director was Matthew Hamer, while Alex Leigh became a director in February 2015 but now runs FCA authorised credit broker, Lend a Hand Finance Ltd.
Matthew Hamer’s past directorships include Secure Solutions (2014) Ltd which he set up with banned director, Edward Booth (see our blog for more info on Edward Booth ) but he currently runs Total Processing Ltd - a merchant account providers and where Soopramanien, Leigh and Samuel Levy are all former directors.
Connor Walsh – Walsh was appointed a director of Perren Consultants Ltd at the same time as Sarah Louise Tabor-Thickett in 2014 but his directorship only lasted a couple of weeks and occurred while he was also the director of SL Legal Ltd. Walsh is currently the director of James Mills Ltd, an FCA authorised credit broker which trades as My Credit.
The firms correspondence address on companies house is listed as “North West Affiliates, James Mills Ltd, 9th Floor, Regent House, Stockport, SK4 1BS” although there does not currently appear to be any obvious connection with North West Affiliates Ltd apart from some familiar names.
In October 2016, Darren Smith replaced Giles Guy Robertson as the director of Perren Consultants Ltd, while Perry Myers is listed as the Managing Director.
Darren Smith is no stranger to the processing of PPI claims as he is a former director of LOAP Ltd which was placed into liquidation. Co-director’s there included Jordan Ball and Mark Ryan - with the latter presumably being the same Mark Ryan who currently lists his role as Managing Director of the CMC, Reclaim Plan which was the subject of one of our blogs last year.