Exactly a year ago, Mrs C had visited the Sports Direct gym in Keighley, where she is a member. The system there is that members key their registration numbers into a terminal which is linked to Excel’s systems, and that entitles them to 2 hours free parking. The vehicle was in the car park for a total of 92 minutes.
A few days later, Mr C, who is the registered keeper, received a £100 parking charge notice from Excel. Mrs C immediately contacted Excel, confirming that she had been the driver, and attaching a print-out from the gym to verify the fact and length of her visit. But Mr C received further correspondence from Excel, which showed that they had completely ignored the fact that the driver had been named, and they were continuing to pursue him as keeper. He declined to engage with the IAS, having an aversion to marsupials.
Eventually, BW Legal issued a claim on behalf of Excel, and the case was listed for 4 October. BW Legal sent the usual complete and utter nonsense of a witness statement, signed by some part-qualified non-entity who clearly knew diddly squat about the case, or anything else for that matter. Bargepole prepared all the court documents on behalf of the defendant. These included statements from other gym customers who had experienced similar unfounded claims, and a statement from the gym manager that the system installed by Excel was not fit for purpose, since it did not provide any receipt, or any form of confirmation that the entry of the registration number had been accepted.
At the first hearing, the Judge agreed that there could be no case against Mr C, but that Excel could apply to have Mrs C to be conjoined as second defendant if they wished. They made the application, and Mrs C filed her own witness statement confirming the events as previously described.
The adjourned hearing was over in a matter of minutes, as nobody from Excel or BW Legal showed up. DJ Wright agreed that this crossed the threshold of unreasonable behaviour, and awarded the defendants’ ordinary costs, plus further costs as per CPR 27.14(2)(g), meaning that Excel were hit for £412 in total.
The behaviour of Excel, and their joke solicitors, has been utterly disgraceful throughout this entire saga, and there may be further repercussions still to come.
BW Legal has been awarded “Legal Team of the Year” at the CICM British Credit Awards 2016. The Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) is the recognised standard in the credit and collections industry and is Europe’s largest professional association for the credit community
It is incredible that such an incompetent no-hoper legal firm like BW Legal are apparently the best of the legal teams in the credit industry. This means there are worse legal teams out there**
BW Legal CEO Sean Barton claims to be a solicitor but his team seem to fail to understand the basics of litigation, including how to obey practice directions when filing particulars of claim or signing a claim. Sean Barton's team file template witness statements with incorrect facts and with matters clearly not in the knowledge of the witness. His understanding of the legal situation around parking is deeply flawed and the advocates Sean Barton uses are poorly briefed. His team send out letters deliberately misrepresenting the situation and provide false information to try and bully motorists into paying charges they do not owe. On the phone, Sean Barton's operatives lie and provide false information.
Sean Barton advises his clients to file claims they have no hope of winning if properly defended apparently in the hope that the victim does not realise the true legal position and so pay up rather than defending the claim.
His operatives are so incompetent they expose their clients to large counterclaims and to extra costs under the unreasonableness rule.
Sean Barton therefore appears to the Prankster to be a particularly incompetent solicitor, who is bringing the legal profession into disrepute and it is poor reflection on the legal regulators that they allow such people to continue in practice.
It is an even worse reflection on the legal regulators that there are apparently many more incompetent people than Sean Barton people in the credit industry, as the 2016 award clearly show.
The Parking Prankster
**This does not include the other incompetent no-hopers Gladstones Solicitors as they were not in the running for the award.