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Judge in referral fees clash with OFT

The Master of the Rolls and OFT are at loggerheads over referral fees to organisations, including mortgage firms, with the senior judge branding them “a mistake”.

Master of the Rolls Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers (above) says referral fees paid by solicitors to IFAs and brokers could poten- tially damage the profession’s independence and integrity.

He believes the fees ultimately increase costs to clients. But the OFT said banning referrals is unlikely. Under existing rules, it says clients should be made fully aware of referral commission paid to solicitors.

The Law Society met last week to discuss what impact paying referral fees has had since the practice was introduced in January 2004. A decision on whether the practice should continue has been deferred until next January. Spokeswoman Isobel Rowley says: “Two important stakeholders are on different sides of this issue. No one is asking for anyone to unscramble any relationships.”

Clarke Willmott partner & legal financial adviser Peter Nellist says: “It would be a retrograde step if this was overturned.”


The old story

It has been estimated that age discrimination costs the UK economy upwards of 31bn a year. Stereotypes about age are part of the culture in many offices. For older workers, these unfair and unjust prejudices mean they can struggle to get a new job, get training or be awarded a promotion and are often forced […]

‘Web is way to HNW clients’

The spiralling cost of acquiring high-net-worth clients is persuading more IFAs to use e-marketing to attract new business, according to research by MDRC for Winterthur Life. It found that the cost of acquiring new wealthy clients has increased from 3,850 per head in 2002 to 5,271 in 2004. E-marketing as a means of generating leads […]

New Star appoints Wagstaff as retail md

New Star has confirmed Phil Wagstaffs appointment as managing director of its UK retail sales and marketing operation.Wagstaff will start in September and was most recently managing director of M&Gs UK retail business with 15bn under management. He will report to Mark Skinner, New Stars managing director of sales and marketing.

Scott defends job losses after twin takeovers

John Scott & Partners says the redundancies as a result of it buying Charcol Holden Meehan and Charcol Aitchison & Colegrave are necessary because of duplication of roles. The firm says some staff went because they did not have the skills to develop long-term relationships with high-net-worth clients in a fee-based environment. At the end […]

Greg Broomer 2

Survey looks at the challenges facing businesses post auto-enrolment

A survey conducted by Johnson Fleming at the Pension & Benefits Show 2014 highlighted the key challenges faced within organisations post auto-enrolment. The results showed that communicating the changes and the value of them to staff, and receiving timely data from the payroll provider proved to still be the most challenging aspects of managing an auto-enrolment scheme.


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