The Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has cancelled the authorisation of Swansea-based sole trader Paul Robert William Norton, who offered personal injury claims services under the trading names P N Marketing and Claim for Accidents Here.
Many of the issues that have prompted the MoJ to take this action concern his marketing practices. In total, he was in breach of six different sections of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014:
• General Rule 2d – the requirement to maintain appropriate records and audit trails
• General Rule 2e – ensuring referrals, leads and data sourced from third parties have been obtained in accordance with applicable legislation and other regulatory requirements
• General Rule 5 –the generic requirement to comply with all relevant laws and regulations
• Client Specific Rule 4 – this prohibits all cold calling in person, such as stopping passers-by or calling door-to-door, and requires all marketing by telephone, email, fax or text to be carried out in accordance with the Direct Marketing Association’s Code and other guidance issued by the Association
• Client Specific Rule 6a – when carrying out marketing activity, the name of the company making the communication must be clearly identifiable
• Client Specific Rule 9 – authorised companies are also responsible for ensuring any marketing material issued by a third party complies with relevant legislation and rules
The MoJ has re-iterated many times that authorised claims management companies (CMCs) cannot attempt to blame third parties for breaches of the laws and rules relating to marketing. The regulator will treat any marketing communication of any kind issued on behalf of an authorised CMC in the same way as if the CMC themselves had made the communication. So if a third party sends unsolicited marketing texts, makes calls to individuals registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or issues a misleading print advertisement, then the CMC will be held accountable. The CMC will also be held responsible if it relies on the false assurance of a data supplier that all individuals on a contact list have consented to receive communications.
In its second quarter enforcement bulletin, the MoJ gave details of how Check Point Claims Limited lost its authorisation for, amongst other things, failing to ensure that recipients of automated telephone calls had given explicit consent to receiving them. Elkador Finance was fined £315,000 for failing to demonstrate that the personal data of people who received marketing calls from the company had been legally obtained. Just after the end of the second quarter, in July 2016, the MoJ fined UKMS Money Solutions Limited £50,000 after it sent 1.3 million unsolicited spam texts, and cancelled the authorisation of Reactiv Media Limited. One of the issues with Reactiv was that it made hundreds of calls to individuals who had registered with the TPS.
The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.