Another volume consumer claims firm goes down owing £37m

Car finance claims: Firm struck loan deal last year

Another law firm specialising in volume consumer claims has collapsed, with administrators called in yesterday at Liverpool-based McDermott Smith Law.

Its most recent abbreviated accounts, for the year to 31 March 2023, said it owed creditors £37.5m.

After a notice to appoint administrators was filed on Monday at the instigation of litigation funder Fenchurch Legal, yesterday Andrew Hosking and Sean Bucknall of Quantuma Advisory and Damian Webb of RSM UK Restructuring Advisory were appointed joint administrators.

Meanwhile, the Solicitiors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced today that it had intervened in McDermott Smith as a result of an “insolvency event”.

McDermott Smith handled housing disrepair, motor finance, business energy, undisclosed commission, personal injury, Japanese knotweed and debt claims.

The accounts showed huge expansion between 2022 and 2023, with creditors going from £5.8m to £37.5, debtors leaping from £6m to £37m, and staff numbers nearly trebling from 24 to 69.

Law Society records, however, show that only four solicitors were working at the firm, including founder Andrew Smith.

Companies House shows also that in May 2023 McDermott Smith agreed a funding deal with Katch Fund Solutions to back motor finance claims.

Katch was a major backer of consumer claims firm SSB Group, which went into administration at the start of the year.

Mis-sold car finance is tipped as the next big growth area for consumer claims and was part of why the SRA recently issued guidance on claims management activity.

Mr Smith has not responded to an approach for comment that we made earlier this week.

We recently released a recorded webinar, Motor Finance Mis-selling Explained, while our inaugural Claims Futures conference on 12 November will consider the regulatory and other issues involved in volume consumer claims.

    Readers Comments

  • Law Follower says:

    Yet another consumer litigation form goes bust owing tens of millions to funders. How many wheels has the SRA been asleep at now?

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Keeping the conversation going beyond Pride Month

As I reflect on all the celebrations of Pride Month 2024, I ask myself why there remains hesitancy amongst LGBTQ+ staff members about when it comes to being open about their identity in the workplace.

Third-party managed accounts: Your key questions answered

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has given strong indications that it is headed towards greater restrictions on law firms when it comes to handling client money.

Understanding vicarious trauma in the legal workplace

Vicarious trauma can happen to anyone who works with clients who have experienced trauma such as domestic or other violence, child abuse, sexual assault, torture or being a refugee.

Loading animation