The issues raised in this article are not unusual sadly. There are many litigants in person and law firms who use the insolvency route to place pressure on a debtor to cough up.
Indeed, for the right case, this is something that I have regularly done.
Where things go wrong, however, is where the insolvency route is used for disputed debts.
Whilst individuals and businesses acting without legal representation may be forgiven for not appreciating this, there is no such excuse for law firms.
Utilising the insolvency route can be a tactical decision (and in some instances cheaper than resorting to traditional civil proceedings). However, at the point when a dispute arises regarding the underlying debt, the pursuance of matters through insolvency proceedings must be discontinued.
In my opinion the Judge was right to highlight the rude language of the solicitors involved in this matter, along with a misuse of the insolvency proceedings.
High Court judge has accused a law firm of potentially breaching solicitor conduct rules in attempting to help a client avoid paying a debt. The court heard that national firm Keystone Law had been aggressive and may have, on the face of it, acted unlawfully in its correspondence with a claimant who had secured an adjudication award against its client. At one point Keystone wrote to the opposing party: ‘You will get nothing then. Goodbye.’ Ruling in Bernard Sport Surfaces Ltd v Astrosoccer4u Ltd, The Honourable Mr Justice Coulson described this language as ‘breathtakingly rude’ and ‘plainly part of the intention to misuse the insolvency proceedings’. A further email, the judge suggested, amounted to a breach of the rules relating to the proper conduct of solicitors.