A company set up to help individuals claim overcharges by solicitors has had a complaint against one of it’s adverts upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Recovery Ltd, trading as RecoverYourOvercharges.com published an advertisement in regional press in February stating TOP 5 WAYS YOUR SOLICITOR RIPS YOU OFF…LEARN HOW TO GET YOUR OVERCHARGES BACK! Did you know, on average, a solicitor overcharges you by 20%?”.
According to the ASA, the company’s website also stated “The amount solicitors are supposed to charge for their services are [sic] covered by legislation – but in reality many ignore these guidelines … Discover the tricks law firms use to get extra from you, including … Charging you a higher hourly rate than they should”
Enfield based Martin Shepherd Solicitors LLP challenged the advertisement over the claims that “…on average a solicitor overcharges you by 20%”; and “The amount solicitors are supposed to charge for their services are [sic] covered by legislation – but in reality many ignore these guidelines” on the grounds they believed the claims were misleading and couldn’t be substantiated.
The Advertising Standards Agency upheld the complaint, stating: “we considered that in order to substantiate the claim, Recovery would need to provide evidence, applicable to all solicitors, to demonstrate that their charges were inflated, by an average of 20%, without proper reason. Recovery did not provide such evidence and we therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”
The ruling continued: “We acknowledged Recovery’s assertion that solicitors fell under a code of conduct and there were also legal provisions regarding their fees. However, they had not provided any evidence that demonstrated that many solicitors ignored those standards, for example to show that they had been censured under the code of conduct or had been subject to action in relation to guidelines for charges. Because the claim had again not been substantiated, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
The full ruling can be viewed here.