Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants Ltd (MPCC) and First Law Solutions Ltd (FLS) were wound-up in the public interest on 22 February 2019 at the High Court (Manchester).

Both companies were shut down after failing to provide the services they advertised.

The court heard that MPCC and FLS offered timeshare claims management services, helping clients get out of their existing timeshare contracts and pursue compensation claims against providers.

MPCC traded between October 2016 and August 2017, before FLS continued MPCC’s activities, and both companies shared the same director – Stephen Paul Fairclough (59) of Chester.

While carrying out confidential enquiries, investigators found that between the two companies approximately 113 clients had typically paid either £1,950 or £5,950 dependent on the services being purchased. In return, customers expected that lawyers based abroad would be instructed on their behalf to relinquish their timeshare and in some cases seek compensation.

But investigators established that while lawyers may have been instructed in some cases, MPCC and FLS were unable to demonstrate any significant evidence of clients having their contracts relinquished or of compensation being paid.

Investigators also discovered that MPCC received income of more than £440,000 and that FLS received £110,000. Despite this, investigators were unable to identify any payments made by MPCC to overseas lawyers, while FLS only made payments to overseas lawyers totalling £13,000 during the period of the investigation.

David Hope, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

People genuinely sought out these companies for help to get them out of difficult situations concerning their timeshares. However, many customers did not receive the services they were led to expect, despite paying over significant fees.

Securing winding-up orders through the courts will protect any more people from being duped by MPCC and FLS and the Insolvency Service will continue to protect consumers by closing down rogue companies that operate in this way.