We recently wrote a blog about a charity by the name of Animal Protection Services (APS) failing in a private prosecution against a number of dog breeders. The Judge, in that case, made some fairly dramatic findings against APS and the law firm representing them.
Parry & Welch Solicitors vs Animal Protection Services
A subsequent Court case ensued between the law firm in question, Parry & Welch Solicitors (PWS), and APS over allegedly outstanding fees. APS apparently terminated PWS’ retainer in September 2020 over allegations over the quality of legal services provided. This is perhaps not surprising given the content of the judgment of Judge Nicholas Dean QC referred to in the above link.
The subsequent Court case involved an attempt by PWS to wind up APS for non-payment of fees. It is a long-established position that it is entirely inappropriate to use insolvency proceedings to attempt to recover a disputed debt. Even though PWS were informed that the fees were disputed, they continued to advertise the winding-up petition in the Gazette.
The Courts decision
In dismissing the winding-up petition, Judge Clive Jones described PWS’ conduct in terms of advertising the existence of the winding-up petition as a ‘flagrant and serious breach of the insolvency rules’. The judge further awarded indemnity costs against PWS in the sum of £22,000.
An APS spokesman said:
‘Parry and Welch Solicitors LLP demonstrated a complete failure to observe procedural rules.’
He said the charity will make a further report about the law firm to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The Gazette has contacted Parry & Welch for comment.
How can Nelsons help
Should you have any queries about a charity that you are involved in, please do not hesitate to contact Kevin or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester, or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form.Contact us