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  1. #1
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    With thanks to Righty.


    If you are contacted by RLP or another Civil Recovery Company;

    (a) never telephone, or DISCUSS with, or otherwise disclose anything to them unless you take legal advice.

    (b) send them a full Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act asking for any and all information they hold on you.

    (c) respond to their letters, AFTER leaving it to the last moment of their deadlines, by saying something like the following:



    Dear (signatory)

    Thank you for your letter of xxx.

    It appears you are non-compliant with civil procedure, in that you have failed to state a discernible case against me and you have failed to show me the documents on which you intend to rely. That is to say, your letter discloses no evidence and no case. Your letter also is not a Letter of Claim.

    Until and unless you comply with civil procedure by providing a heading "Letter of Claim" AND disclose all the evidence on which you intend to rely AND disclose your legal case, as is required by civil procedure, I am not only unable to respond but quite unable to understand why you are making these demands.

    Further, you make unlawful threats against me which as already explained fall outside of legal protection. I reserve my position as to whether I will pursue you, and/or your "client" (assuming it is true you act for them), in the criminal and civil jurisdictions.

    Yours

    xxxx



    By relying on their non-compliance with civil procedure you should stop them dead.

    They started it and so it's their legal obligation to put their case and stop "fishing", as the Courts call it. This should slow them down, force them into correspondence with you, and with a bit of luck wear them down a bit.


    You should
    consider making a formal note of every time you deal with the matter, the time you spend on it, and what you did - a spreadsheet would be ideal.


    Last edited by Amethyst; 18th June 2012 at 18:01:PM.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    hi. Would this letter be any use to me in my situation? I have written out my story on my intro page. Thanks.

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    A similar thing happened to me, except in my case the CCTV footage shows me swiping one of the three discrepancies in my shopping and there was a mix-up when a shopping assistant removed the tag from on of my items which I then presumed was scanned, the final item the security guard did not tell me whether the CCTV showed me swiping it or not!

    It was really frustrating but when the police appeared, I just complied and was issued with an £80 FNP. I paid this a few days later, believing it was no admission of guilt and also believing, as I'd been told by the police in front of the ASDA staff that this would be the end of the matter.

    I have since been contacted by Drydens Lawyers. Claiming £0 for goods stolen or damaged and £150 for security costs.

    However they have misspelt my surname.

    Should I bother replying with the above draft or just send the post back, unstamped?

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    RLP seen to create quite a stir, I have been searching this site to help my friend who just before Xmas left an item on his pushchair worth £4 and was stopped, a genuine mistake. RLP have sent a letter but they have made a mistake on the date of incident. I'm trying to find a template defence letter to send them. The police were not called and he was not arrested. Any help gratefully received he works away which is why I'm doing all the leg work !

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Hi Seychelles,

    Some good advice, with links, on this thread

    http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/...ad.php?t=32384
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    If anyone is interested the producers of a a TV documentary is needed for case studies if you have been involed in RLP. http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/...ad.php?t=32476

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    If I may add my contribution to CleverClogs well-researched post, I am a retired policeman and, believe me, blackmailers are regarded as the scum of the earth. I am aware of RLP's " "National Database of Wrongdoing" through CAB. This database, if it actually exists, has overtones of the Economic League's illegal database of workers, exposed by journalist Andrew Bell. Also, be aware that when RLP have been served with a Subject Access Request (SAR) under Section 7, Data Protection Act 1998, they seem to back away. It's almost as if they know they're going to be found out.

    In the event you are accused of shoplifting, ask to see any CCTV footage. If the retail security staff and/or management refuse, say, "Am I to understand that you are refusing to show me CCTV footage of what you allege I am supposed to have done?" You have a right to see all and any evidence of any allegation made against you. If they still refuse ask for the police to be called. If this, too, is refused, you should call them. When the police arrive, make it clear to them that you wish to view any CCTV footage in their presence and that of the security goon who was operating the CCTV equipment and your accuser. Remember, the onus is on the retailer to prove their allegations beyond all reasonable doubt. No evidence, no offence, no entitlement to any form of compensation.

    Those who are being or have been approached by civil recovery agents may wish to look at the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is very useful in dealing with their demands. Not only can the civil recovery agent face civil and/or criminal proceedings, but the retailer who put them up to it can be, too.

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    Seychelles's Avatar

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seychelles View Post
    RLP seen to create quite a stir, I have been searching this site to help my friend who just before Xmas left an item on his pushchair worth £4 and was stopped, a genuine mistake. RLP have sent a letter but they have made a mistake on the date of incident. I'm trying to find a template defence letter to send them. The police were not called and he was not arrested. Any help gratefully received he works away which is why I'm doing all the leg work !
    So I sent the template letter and got a 3 page threatening letter back quoting all sorts of legislation. Is it time to pay them or is this just another empty threat? Help

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Another empty threat. :beagle2222:

    Why don't you scan and post up the letter (removing all personal details) so we can comment in detail?

    :beagle:
    :beagle:
    "Although scalar fields are Lorentz scalars, they may transform nontrivially under other symmetries, such as flavour or isospin. For example, the pion is invariant under the restricted Lorentz group, but is an isospin triplet (meaning it transforms like a three component vector under the SU(2) isospin symmetry). Furthermore, it picks up a negative phase under parity inversion, so it transforms nontrivially under the full Lorentz group; such particles are called pseudoscalar rather than scalar. Most mesons are pseudoscalar particles." (finally explained to a captivated Celestine by Professor Brian Cox on Wednesday 27th June 2012 )

    I am proud to have co-founded LegalBeagles in 2007

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Sounds like another of RLP's works of fiction. B & Q broke all ties with them because they could be held liable for their actions. I wouldn't mind looking at what RLP have written. Might make me laugh.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seychelles View Post
    So I sent the template letter and got a 3 page threatening letter back quoting all sorts of legislation. Is it time to pay them or is this just another empty threat? Help
    Keep their letter safely, as you may wish to use it when you submit a complaint about their lawyers to the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority.

    Unless they are remarkably fortunate, they'll be going the same way as Andrew Crossley.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverClogs View Post
    Keep their letter safely, as you may wish to use it when you submit a complaint about their lawyers to the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority.

    Unless they are remarkably fortunate, they'll be going the same way as Andrew Crossley.
    Hi Cleverclogs,

    I think you may well be right about that. RLP's two in-house solicitors already have active complaints against them being currently dealt with by the SRA. CAB lodged the complaints. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is.

    Bluebottle

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seychelles View Post
    So I sent the template letter and got a 3 page threatening letter back quoting all sorts of legislation. Is it time to pay them or is this just another empty threat? Help
    So along with the threats to increase the fine they ask me to refer to [1] Aerospace Publishing Ltd v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 3 and that it is a breach of practice direction and drawing attention to the practice of torts for tresspass anyone seen this stuff before I've tried to upload but cannot via iPad

  14. #14
    CleverClogs's Avatar

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    It's stercus tauri, as it plainly does not apply.

    In that case, the claimant won damages from the utility company for staff time and other expenses directly involved with restoring the claimant company to how it was before the damage (by flooding) had occurred.

    For that to apply, the claim made by RLP would have to be solely for staff costs directly related to the alleged loss. As the staff costs on that day would have been the same whether or not anyone had stolen or attempted to steal one or more items, it follows that they cannot state that any of those costs was directly caused by the alleged incident.

    Do the oafs refer to their demands as a 'fine'?

    Have they ever mentioned an "offenders' database" and, if they have, what did they write about it?

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    As CC has said above

    http://www.openbrief.com/index.php/2...ion-in-the-uk/


    The decision of the Court of Appeal in Aerospace Publishing Ltd -v- Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 3 has provided helpful clarification as to the recoverability of the costs of management and staff time in litigation and the requirements to be met to do so. Key requirements to be proved are that a) staff had been diverted from their normal activities in order to deal with the consequences of negligence and similar and b) such diversion caused significant disruption to the business.
    The court ruled that it may reasonably be inferred that had their time not been so diverted, staff would have been engaged on activities which would, directly or indirectly, have generated revenue in a sum at least equal to the costs of employing them during that time. In the absence of records, evidence in the form of a reconstruction from memory may be acceptable although a discount (of 20%) was given by the court to allow for inaccurate recollection of events.
    CAVEAT LECTOR

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seychelles View Post
    So I sent the template letter and got a 3 page threatening letter back quoting all sorts of legislation. Is it time to pay them or is this just another empty threat? Help
    Sorry to be a pain on this subject does anyone have any knowledge of cases going to court? Or if we ignore these demands will the just go away ? Really don't want to pay and guessing they would maybe have sent some sort of summons straight back rather than lengthy threatening letters to scare us into paying. They said the cost could go up and while I want to fight it I don't want the charge to increase HELP STRESSED

  17. #17
    CleverClogs's Avatar

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Read the report compiled by the CAB into the antics of the RLP parasites: Uncivil Recovery PDF

    They have never been known to win if a case is defended, or even to take a case to court. See the page at The Justice Gap - link

    Citizens Advice can find no evidence of the civil recovery agents or their retailer clients having ever successfully litigated a contested county court claim in respect of an unpaid pre-set, ‘fixed sum’ demand. It notes: ‘This is hardly surprising, as in fact there is no legal basis for claiming such a pre-set, ‘fixed sum’ as compensation for the consequential damages of a tort such as theft.’
    They're all mouth and Primark trousers.

  18. #18
    Seychelles's Avatar

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverClogs View Post
    Read the report compiled by the CAB into the antics of the RLP parasites: Uncivil Recovery PDF

    They have never been known to win if a case is defended, or even to take a case to court. See the page at The Justice Gap - link



    They're all mouth and Primark trousers.
    Read the report OMG amazing help everyone should read it thank you so much x

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seychelles View Post
    So along with the threats to increase the fine they ask me to refer to [1] Aerospace Publishing Ltd v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 3 and that it is a breach of practice direction and drawing attention to the practice of torts for tresspass anyone seen this stuff before I've tried to upload but cannot via iPad
    RLP have been told time and time again Aerospace Publishing -v- Thames Water Utilities Ltd 2007 is NOT valid case law or a basis for their demands. In order to prove the civil tort of trespass, you first have to prove that the person you allege has trespassed did not have a right to be where they were. It's such complete and utter sphericals, a first-year law student wouldn't lower themselves to base an essay or dissertation on anything RLP says.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    ANALYSIS: It’s been a long time coming – some 14 years, in fact – but earlier today a circuit judge at Oxford County Court handed down his judgment on a money claim issued in May 2011 by a major high street retailer in pursuit of an unpaid civil recovery demand, writes Richard Dunstan. Despite more than 750,000 such demands having been issued by civil recovery agents such as Retail Loss Prevention (RLP) since the controversial practice was imported from the United States in 1998, A Retailer v Ms B & Ms K is the first known judgment on such a claim in respect of low-value shoplifting following a fully contested trial hearing held on last month.


    • ‘Civil recovery’ involves agents employed by high street retailers (including Asda, Boots, Primark, Superdrug, Tesco and TK Maxx) sending out demands to those accused of shoplifting threatening civil court action unless they pay a fixed sum of £87.50, £137.50 or £150. Citizens Advice argue that there is ‘no obvious legal basis’ for such ‘fixed sum’ demands and report that many recipients are guilty of ‘nothing more than an innocent mistake’ for example a genuine error at a self-service till.
    • For more on what Citizens Advice has described as a ‘secretive, exploitative and quite possibly unlawful practice’ on www.thejusticegap.com, read HERE.
    • Read the Law Commission’s report HERE. According to the Law Commission report (Consumer redress for misleading and aggressive practices), ‘misleading and aggressive commercial practices’ are ‘a major problem’.


    The county court claim issued by a major retailer in May 2011 relates to unpaid civil recovery demands for £137.50 sent by RLP in February 2010 to each of two teenagers, Ms B & Ms K, who had been caught by store security staff stealing various cosmetics items. The court made an anonymity order in respect of all parties. The police had attended, and had seemingly issued a reprimand and caution to Ms B and Ms K respectively (though the retailer produced no evidence of this in court) – all the cosmetics items had been recovered and were fit for re-sale.
    In March 2010, Ms B had sought advice on the civil recovery demand from her local Citizens Advice Bureau, which engaged in extensive correspondence with RLP for the next 14 months. In July 2010, RLP stated to the CAB that ‘[Ms B’s] defence has no legal basis and therefore no likelihood of success’. In early May 2011, the CAB told RLP that ‘we simply do not understand your attempt to justify your pre-set, fixed sum demand on the basis that it is simply a “contribution” to your [retailer] client’s actual losses. If you wish to persist with this unfounded “claim”, then in line with the CPR (Civil Procedure Rules) practice directions, please provide full citations for the legal authorities on which you and [your retailer client] intend to rely’. RLP did not respond, and later that month the retailer issued the claim against Ms B and Ms K.
    During the trial hearings late last month, witnesses for the high street shop told the court that RLP sends out some 11,000 civil recovery demands on its behalf every year (i.e. as many as 145,000 since 1998), of which some 60-65% go unpaid. However, the retailer has only ever issued ‘about 20 or 30’ court claims in pursuit of an unpaid demand and, of those, all but ‘a handful’ were not defended.
    The court also heard evidence, on behalf of the defendants, that the pre-set, fixed sum demanded by RLP in such cases varies according to, and is determined by, the total value of the goods involved, as follows:

    Value of goods (£) Fixed sum demanded (£)
    0 – 9.99 87.50
    10 – 99.99 137.50
    100 – 299.99 187.50
    Over 300 250
    In Ms B’s case, for example, the value of the goods stolen (and recovered) was £28.44, giving rise to a pre-set demand for £137.50.
    The Court was also told that, among the 345 cases of a shoplifting-related civil recovery demand sent out by RLP that Citizens Advice has examined in detail to date, the sum demanded by RLP was £87.50 in 29 per cent of cases, and £137.50 in 59 per cent of cases. And 62 (20 per cent) of the 345 demands had been sent out by RLP on behalf of the retailer.
    In the demand letters sent to Ms B and Ms K, the sum of £137.50 is broken down as follows: £82.50 for ‘staff/management time investigating and/or dealing with incident’; £24.75 for ‘administration costs resulting from your wrongful actions; and £30.25 for apportioned security and surveillance costs’.
    As RLP is believed to retain between 40 and 60% of any money paid in response to its demands, this means that the value of the claim to the retailer was between £55.00 and £82.50. In its written schedule of loss, submitted to the Court, the retailer stated that its actual losses arising from this incident were significantly greater, such that the £137.50 demanded by RLP was merely a ‘contribution’ to its losses. It stated that its losses in terms of ‘staff time’ amounted to just some £128.65, including £98.55 for six hours and 45 minutes of a security manager’s time (at £14.60 per hour), and £19.69 for one hour and 55 minutes of a security guard’s time (at £10.27 per hour). It further stated that its other losses amounted to £160.54, making a total of £289.19.
    In legal submissions to the Court, the retailer’s counsel argued that, in dealing with Ms B and Ms K, the security manager and security guard had been diverted from their normal duties, and that this had caused ‘significant disruption’ to its business. (Both parties agreed that that is the relevant test, as set out in Aerospace Publishing v Thames Water).
    However, under cross examination in the witness box, the security manager eventually conceded that, contrary to her sworn witness statement and the schedule of loss, it had in fact taken her no more than one hour and 10 minutes to deal with the incident. That is, her dealing with the incident had cost the retailer about £17, not £98.55 as claimed. Similarly, in the witness box the security guard eventually conceded that he had been involved for only some 30 minutes, at a cost of about £5.00, not £19.69 as claimed.
    In legal submissions to the Court, the defendants’ counsel argued that the security manager and guard had not been diverted, as they were simply carrying out one of the core functions of store security staff, and that, in any case, this had not caused ‘significant disruption’ to the shop. They also noted that the retailer had not submitted any evidence to substantiate its claim for £24.75 in respect of ‘administration costs’, and that there was simply no causation in respect of ‘apportioned security and surveillance costs’.
    This morning, his honour judge Harris dismissed the retailer’s claim, on the basis that it not established any loss arising directly from the shoplifting incident. In particular, it had not established any diversion of staff time, and no ‘significant disruption’ to its business. The retailer applied for leave to appeal but this was refused by the court.
    A reputational risk
    In giving his judgment today, judge Harris delivered a quite possibly fatal body blow to the already reeling civil recovery industry. It remains to be seen whether the major retailer clients who use the services of RLP – including Tesco, Primark, Iceland and TK Maxx – will now decide that the reputational risk of using agents to issue grossly inflated demands for money for which there is simply no legal basis outweighs the relatively piffling amount of money that the practice recovers for them (less than 0.2 per cent of the £4.4 billion annual cost of retail crime).
    In the meantime, however, anyone who receives a civil recovery demand in similar circumstances should simply refer the retailer and/or agent to the case of A Retailer v Ms B and Ms K (a full transcript of which will be available on-line shortly – watch this space).
    It only remains for me to express a few heartfelt thanks and acknowledgements, as follows:


    • First and foremost, to Ms B and Ms K, who stood up to the bully-boy tactics of RLP and the retailer in question for more than two years. Were it not for the courage and resilience of these two young women, this case would not have reached a contested trial before a judge, and the law relating to civil recovery would not have been tested and clarified. Despite their misguided actions in February 2010, they can feel justly proud today.
    • Secondly, to Deborah Lovatt of Aylesbury CAB, who battled with RLP on behalf of Ms B for some 14 months, and solicitor Alex de Jongh of Bates Wells & Braithwaite LLP, who took over and provided outstanding pro bono legal representation to Ms B for some 12 months, following the issuing of the county court claim by A Retailer in May 2011.
    • Thirdly, to the Consumer Action Group, which very kindly offered to underwrite any adverse judgment, costs etc.
    • And – last but by no means least – to barristers Matthew Hodson and Edmund Townsend, of Farrar’s Building Chambers, who provided outstanding pro bono representation to Ms B and Ms K before judge Harris in Oxford County Court.
    :beagle:
    "Although scalar fields are Lorentz scalars, they may transform nontrivially under other symmetries, such as flavour or isospin. For example, the pion is invariant under the restricted Lorentz group, but is an isospin triplet (meaning it transforms like a three component vector under the SU(2) isospin symmetry). Furthermore, it picks up a negative phase under parity inversion, so it transforms nontrivially under the full Lorentz group; such particles are called pseudoscalar rather than scalar. Most mesons are pseudoscalar particles." (finally explained to a captivated Celestine by Professor Brian Cox on Wednesday 27th June 2012 )

    I am proud to have co-founded LegalBeagles in 2007

  21. #21
    labman's Avatar

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    So the actual cost shown in court was £22.00 and RLP were claiming it had cost the store £289.19. That would mean a profit of £267.19, who would have got this money had the case been successful? Would it have gone to the store, RLP, been split between them? Or would it have gone elsewhere?

    A very interesting and exceedingly revealing read - thank you.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    From RLP Web site

    Court Cases

    Whilst businesses continue to face unfounded and false allegations that they refuse to issue claims in the County Courts, and that the damages sought in civil recovery proceedings are not recoverable in law, Judges continue to award damages in civil recovery cases all over the country.


    I wonder which country they are referring to.

    D

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    RLP mean fantasy island i tink

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    Quote Originally Posted by wales01man View Post
    RLP mean fantasy island i tink
    Or they are referring to cases that were not defended.

    Or they were less than wholly accurate.

    What I'd like to know is whether any action is now to be taken against the security goons who told deliberate untruths in support of that bogus and groundless claim. Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice springs to mind and, in my opinion, anyone who sought that false testimony should also be prosecuted.

    It is a pity that leave to appeal was denied, as it would be so much better if the case could be decided before the High Court and a binding precedent set.

    Even if the good(s) had not been recovered and sold for their marked price, the only damages the store could reasonably claim would be the cost to them of replacing the good(s). With that in mind, the jackanapes at Really Lousy Prosecutions may care to reconsider their business model.

  25. #25
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: What should you do if you are contacted by a civil recovery firm ?

    http://www.lossprevention.co.uk/court%20cases.aspx

    The link to RLP's version of events.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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