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Firms are fleeing abroad to escape regulator

The Government has admit- ted that its moves to regulate claim management comp- anies are under threat from firms moving offshore and even just to Scotland.

Investigations by the Claims Standards Council have found at least nine claim-chasers operating in Fuengirola on Spain’s Costa del Sol and another com- pany in South Africa.

The House of Lords fears that claim companies could move to Scotland to avoid regulation as the Compensation Bill will only extend to England and Wales.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland said: “Such companies could still be prosecuted under legislation but, for extradition to apply, a similar offence must be in place in the other country. I recognise the limitations and I admit that there are limits to what we can do on some of these issues.”

Lord Hunt of Wirral added: “The bill does not extend to Scotland so will we see claim farmers resorting to hill farming and such like? If we can spot this loophole, I am sure that the claim management companies will.”

Endowment Justice dir- ector Marianne Fitzjohn says: “Moving offshore does not necessarily mean that firms are trying to avoid regulation.”

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