Sunak promises ministerial action over SSB Law collapse

Shah: Government response needed

The collapse of SSB Law and impact on its former clients came to the attention of Rishi Sunak this week after it was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Several MPs with affected constituents have been active in campaigning to minimise the fallout and one of them, Naz Shah, Labour MP for Bradford West, put her concerns to Mr Sunak.

She said: “The prime minister is no doubt aware of the collapse of SSB Law, and many constituents, including hundreds in my constituency, have been affected and have bills of up to hundreds of thousands.

“One constituent had to sell his wedding gifts, and his father had a heart attack with the stress. People are having to raid their pension pots; they are getting bills, and bailiffs are knocking on the door.

“Will the prime minister meet me and my constituents’ representatives on the collapse of SSB Law, and make sure that the government respond to this injustice that has happened to people across the country?”

Mr Sunak replied: “I am sorry to hear about the situation impacting the honourable lady’s constituents. I will be more than happy to make sure that the right minister looks into it and that we get back to her as soon as possible.”

In February, ITV News featured a meeting Ms Shah held with 20 of her constituents who were clients of SSB, which she described as “both a local crisis and a national scandal”.

The focus of the story is on the cavity wall insulation claims SSB ran where the after-the-event (ATE) insurance it put in place is being repudiated, leading to successful defendants and their insurers seeking to enforce substantial costs awards against clients.

We reported a week ago that the Legal Services Board is to probe the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s actions in the lead-up to the collapse of SSB Group.

There have been questions about whether the regulator could have done more to identify problems at SSB, which went into administration in January owing six litigation funders £200m. Its indebtedness has since risen to £221m.

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