Background to Thomas Eggar Complaint

I am publishing my complaint against Thomas Eggar LLP as an active case study of how the Solicitors Regulation Authority investigate a complaint and, if necessary, take corrective action against the solicitors concerned. The case that resulted in my complaint is summarised below:

Thomas Eggar LLP represented their client, Camarin Holdings Ltd, who are registered in the British Virgin Islands but own commercial property in the UK. Rent paid for those commercial properties was paid to a company called Bindi (London) Ltd, which is wholly owned by Camarin but registered as a dormant (non trading) company at Companies House.

Thomas Eggar LLP pursued me for rent it claimed was payable for "my" occupation of commercial premises owned by Camarin, but for a period after my company had vacated the premises and indeed it later turned out, after Camarin had re-let the premises to other companies.

Thomas Eggar LLP issued a bankruptcy petition against me, despite the fact that the debt was disputed. It is normally considered an abuse of court process to issue a petition against a debt disputed on genuine grounds. Thomas Eggar LLP publicised the bankruptcy action against me by posting the related notices in public places, such as outside my front door and by enclosing the bankruptcy documents in transparent envelopes. Thomas Eggar LLP also made contact with my co-defendant's ex-wife at his former family home (where he had not lived for some years) and disclosed the alleged debt and bankruptcy action to his former wife. It is a breach of Section 40 of The Administration of Justice Act 1970 to "harass" someone by the "manner" in which a demand is made being calculated to cause "alarm, distress, or humiliation".

A year after my company had vacated Camarin's premises and while Thomas Eggar LLP were preparing a bankruptcy petition against me, Thomas Eggar LLP wrote to British Gas to inform them that I was personally liable for the electricity that Camarin or their later tenants were using in the premises. The result was that British Gas were encouraged to open a credit account in my name and hold me personally liable for the £14,000+ bill that had been run up since my company's exit.

The bankruptcy petition was heard in the High Court in Bankruptcy in November 2011 where two arguments against the petition were presented by me as a litigant in person;  (1) Thomas Eggar LLP had altered the lease under which they claimed a debt after my signing of it and without my permission, thus making it void and (2) that the lease was subject to being rescinded (cancelled) as it was only entered into after a misrepresentation by Thomas Eggar LLP ( that the lease prepared by Thomas Eggar LLP did not match the terms agreed as Thomas Eggar LLP claimed an unlimited personal liability from me which directly contradicted the terms agreed.).

Although I was only a unrepresented litigant in person and Thomas Eggar LLP are a sizable London law firm, I defeated them in the High Court in Bankruptcy where both of my arguments were upheld by the registrar.

After the hearing, I found out that Thomas Eggar's client, Camarin Holdings Ltd had in fact let the premises in question to another company just two weeks after my company vacated. This made any demand for rent after that date entirely false as any previous lease is automatically surrendered when a new tenancy is granted. Looking back at communications from Thomas Eggar LLP, I believe that they were or should have been aware that their client had re-let the building to someone else. Section 2 of The Fraud Act 2006 makes it an offence for someone to "dishonestly make a false representation and intends ... to make a gain for himself or another."

Despite the tenancies of several companies in the premises and the failure in the High Court in Bankruptcy, Thomas Eggar LLP continued to attempt to claim over £400,000 in "rent arrears" for their client, until being released by their client late 2012.

I complained to Thomas Eggar LLP about their conduct, but they refused to investigate my complaint. They simply responded with a one-liner that stated they refute any liability and were just doing what their client asked them to do.

My complaint about Thomas Eggar LLP to the Solicitors Regulation Authority

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