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Thread: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

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  1. #1
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    Default Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Does anybody know about Peninsula Business Services and how they trade.

    PBS are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and hold themselves out as a Financial Services provider of non-investment related insurance products. They provide Employment and Health and Safety services, advice, support and legal representation in the event that you end up in an Employment Tribunal as an employer.

    They are not regulated to provide legal services. This has been checked with the SRA and other regulators. In fact they only had one solicitor registered in 2009 and nothing since.

    Their Legal representation comes in the form of an Internally (not outsourced as typical bhusiness insurance products offering legal indemnity) based 'Advocate' and not a solicitor or barrister, thus creating the issue that that 'Advocate' does not have the right of audience with a Judge, County Court or otherwise.

    Whilst I cannot pinpoint the actual legislation, I am aware that there was a change in legislation which may have allowed companies such as PBS to trade in some capacity as a Alternative Company.

    It seems that PBS has no liability in the event of any failings in their 'Advocate' representation and are unable to be held accountable for said failings.

    Any assistance which will help me understand how this company are allowed to trade in such a capacity would be very helpful indeed. I do know that there are others with similar issues with this company.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Whilst I can't answer about PBS' liability (that would be down to any contract the employer might have with them) I would have thought they can act at tribunals as "Lay Representatives".

    This link (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...chedule/1/made) at 74.3 makes reference to lay representatives at employment tribunals.
    Lay representatives may charge for their "services".

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Thank you for the reply.

    Definitions

    74. (1) “Costs” means fees, charges, disbursements or expenses incurred by or on behalf of the receiving party (including expenses that witnesses incur for the purpose of, or in connection with, attendance at a Tribunal hearing). In Scotland all references to costs (except when used in the expression “wasted costs”) shall be read as references to expenses.

    (2) “Legally represented” means having the assistance of a person (including where that person is the receiving party’s employee) who—

    (a)
    has a right of audience in relation to any class of proceedings in any part of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, or all proceedings in county courts or magistrates’ courts;
    (b)
    is an advocate or solicitor in Scotland; or
    (c)
    is a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland or a solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.

    (3) “Represented by a lay representative” means having the assistance of a person who does not satisfy any of the criteria in paragraph (2) and who charges for representation in the proceedings.

    So, if the 'Advocate' did not charge for any of his services as PBS being a FCA regulated company appointed the 'Advocate' and PBS were paid a monthly Fee, classed as an insurance policy, in effect, in order for the 'Advocate' to be classed as a Lay Representative, the 'Advocate' should not meet any of Clause 2. Therefore, if PBS are classing their 'Advocate' as a Lay Representative, PBS are admiring their 'Advocate' does not have 'right of audience' and therefore, by undertaking representation in Court, creating, submitting and litigation with the Court on behalf of the myself, PBS have effectively broken the law?

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    The Lay Representatives (Rights of Audience) order 1999 gives any person the right of audience, with certain conditions.

    I don't see that PBS employing a person to act as a lay rep with their clients breaks the law.

    You refer to their "advocate",but having looked at their website I cannot see where they use the term advocate (i.e. a solicitor who is qualified to represent clients in the higher UK courts).
    Do they actually use that term themselves, and if so in what context?

    Finally, if an employer is subjected to a claim and has a representative, the tribunal will happily contact the representative and not the employer (see sec 8 of this form https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...nal_Period.pdf) This implies the rep can make submissions.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Thank you for your reply.

    In older documentation, they refer to their advocates which represent you, in addition, this terminology is also referred to in their emails alongside classing themselves as Employment Lawyer. It all appears very edgy.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Stirred them up a bit
    PSB have joined this site (looking for advice? hope they start their own thread) and been looking at my profile! (at least someone has noticed me:tinysmile_aha_t

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Peninsula Business Services has been representing its clients for more than thirty years both in Employment tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal as well as in equivalent courts in the Republic of Ireland. Our appearances have been conducted with the utmost transparency and our status and position have been well known to the judges presiding over them. Not once has there been any suggestion by any judge that we were not entitled to be there; if there had been any doubt as to our rights of audience in such circumstances it would have been brought to our attention well before now.

    As to the title of those individuals who appear in the tribunals, it is always made clear that irrespective of the particular qualification of that individual, there is no question of their being titled or held out to be “solicitors” or barristers”, and we urge the tribunal staff in fact to refer to them simply as “consultants” and this is how they are referred to on written judgments. Sometimes internally or in discussion with clients we use the word advocate as a means of differentiating the people who carry out this work from other types of consultants in our organisation. Sometimes clients themselves use different terminology. The word ‘lawyer’, meaning one who works in the law, is a generic one that doesn't have a regulated meaning.

    We can reassure both existing and prospective clients that none of Peninsula’s activities on behalf of its clients are undertaken in breach of the law, and if anyone needs to have their doubts allayed, we are more than happy to discuss these issues face to face

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Their website has lots of info on it (http://www.peninsulagrouplimited.com)
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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    PBS are a legal joke.
    ZONE1
    Last edited by zone1; 10th January 2015 at 05:10:AM.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Excellent thread about PBS, and also previous PBS threads as well..

    Thanks for your postings about PBS, and also the other threads about PBS, cheered me up no end and I laughed a lot. I think somebody should create a CPD course for ET solicitors featuring PBS as an example of "How not to conduct yourself at the ET/EAT".

    Never lose sight of the fact that the PBS job titles such as "Employment Lawyer", "HR Lawyer", "Employment Consultant" and Appeals Consultant" are just meaningless. If they are not complaint with the SRA definition of "Lawyer", then these mean nothing. Hence, you are communicating with somebody with no legal standing. Ensure that every complaint PBS makes to the ET/EAT about you results in a response that PBS have no legal standing, the person at PBS making the complaint about you is not on the SRA & ILEX directories (You must check this), and nor is Peninsula Business Services registered with the SRA.

    See the SRA definition for Lawyer;

    ZONE1
    Last edited by zone1; 10th January 2015 at 05:09:AM.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Nice to see I am not the only one who has had problems with Peninsula not providing the services they purport to provide.

    Anyone else out there have any stories or info about Peninsula and what they have (or have not) 'done'? There must be other people who have suffered at the hands of Peninsula, after all they boast 28.000 clients and I know of people who have had appalling service, missed deadlines and bullied by them to name but a few peoples complaints.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    I'm glad to see some noise regarding this company, I too have had huge issues with them, as my small business used them for a time they actually were viscous when I needed to end the contract early, I informed them of this so they sued for damages for £10.000 and won, I checked the contract and although it stated the contract could not be ended, it was not specific if the business ended, even the claimant solicitor at court argued the judge that this needed looking into, but the judge simply said we should have known better. I need to fight this, but I'm not sure how.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    They are indeed
    vicious
    in the name of brand preservation. Any slur on their company is defended heavily, even if they are in the wrong themselves.

    The key is to know you're rights and know you are right. With the truth behind you, it's only a matter of time, patience and persistence.

    Their contract appears to be quite legally dubious and contradicts numerous regulations.

    I assume they won because they focused on the easy points which were non contentious, whereas the key to their Contract is the fundamental makeup which has gaping holes.

    It appears the judge also focussed on Peninsula's Simple breach Claim rather than the actual legal validity of the contract which is a highly contentious matter.

    All that being said without having sight of the judgment and case notes.

    Sight of the whole contract under which you signed, would be good with appropriate personal redactions of course.

    Any thoughts from people's experiences of this company are welcome.
    Last edited by leaflitter; 6th February 2015 at 20:06:PM.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    I would not recommend anyone to sign up to this company. 5 year contract without a get out clause should be ilegal if it is not already.
    I signed and to my cost found them to be worthless to me or my business, but they insist you have to pay for 5 years, no trial period just a constant drain on your hard earned money. I know a lot who have signed with them and have yet to meet one who gives them a good name. Beware.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Thank you for your input 'co not sign'. There are lots of people and companies out there with similar experiences to yours and through fear of being attacked, they do not come forward to share their experiences.

    As previously stated, the PB contract is full of holes, indiscretions, unlawful tie-ins and mis-representations, it just a shame that people feel they are not free to share the contract they are unhappy with (with personal data blacked out) without fear of being attached.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Well without knowing the ins and outs of the contract terms in the contracts they have with employers/business etc and therefore can not comment in regards to the alleged misrepresentations etc that others are referring to here. I can say that just because someone has an employment title of "employment lawyer" an employment title has no legal standing, and so long as they do no try to pass themselves of as an actually "lawyer" or "solicitor" to a court or tribunal then theres nothing unlawful.

    Also how they represent employers is no different to how some of us here advise and have even represented people as "consultants/lay representative" - So nothing wrong how they represent others at tribunal or by giving advise. As to liability well again that depends on the terms of the contracts between PBS and the employers/businesses, so i can not comment on that.

    However, if i wanted to, i could start a business providing the exact same services as PBS provide, though of course i would make clear we were not actual lawyers/solicitors but consultants experienced in advising on employment law and regulations and representing people at tribunals.

    I suppose the key golden rule here is - If your not happy with the terms of the contract being offered then don't sign it.
    Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (LB),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    The other point that seems to come up often is that some of these outfits don't deliver what they said they would. (see post 11)
    This would appear to be a matter of misrepresentation, so IMO, rather than trying to cancel the contract , the contract should be rescinded and all fees reclaimed.
    This would mean firms like PBS having to defend themselves in court, rather than appearing as claimant in a breach of contract case.
    Puts the boot on the other foot!

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    The other point that seems to come up often is that some of these outfits don't deliver what they said they would. (see post 11)
    This would appear to be a matter of misrepresentation, so IMO, rather than trying to cancel the contract , the contract should be rescinded and all fees reclaimed.
    This would mean firms like PBS having to defend themselves in court, rather than appearing as claimant in a breach of contract case.
    Puts the boot on the other foot!
    Post 11 is rather ambigous - But to be honest if they are contracted to provide a service then failure to provide it would be a breach of contract by PBS for failing to provide the service they are contractually obliged to provide. So it be better to claim breach of contract then rescinding the contract!
    Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (LB),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Whether it is a matter of misrepresenting the contract, or breaching the contract, I suspect the way forward is to take action against them, rather than allowing them to sue for breach of contract when one tries to cancel.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    Whether it is a matter of misrepresenting the contract, or breaching the contract, I suspect the way forward is to take action against them, rather than allowing them to sue for breach of contract when one tries to cancel.
    Yep i agree with you there. In such cases, its better to take the lead, rather than siting back and waiting for them to issue a claim against you for non compliance with your own contractual obligations. At same time you should maintain any payments your contracted to pay, as if your claim is successful you will likely get those fees back and also prevent them having grounds to make a counter claim.
    Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (LB),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

    By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

    If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

    I AM SO GOING TO GET BANNED BY CEL FOR POSTING terrible humour POSTS.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Im sorry to be the bearer of bad news peninsular, I see you are camouflaged in words that have made your clients believe a certain thing, that being they trust in what you are telling them by way of clever phrasing and client counts, ( which you could actually just pull out of the proverbial hat )

    My experience with pbs is quite unbelievable as with my other business where pbs actually called a staff member on service and divulged very sensitive information regarding what pbs intentions were to court and collecting money. MASSIVE breach of confidentiality, so much so pbs stopped all proceedings and shut up after I pulled them on this.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    This is a very interesting thread especially as PBS will be representing my employer at my employment tribunal. Always good to know who you're up against.

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Hi
    i called a rep at pbs just yesterday to ask about the small print and would they sue me if I lost my business (having actually lost my business recently) and could not continue the contract with pbs, the rep told me they would not if it was just a sole trader with just a few staff. So not only do they bare face lie to a prospective client. ( they sued me me £10k ) they sue you regardless. I will be attending their seminars in Grantham and Newark to tell the people there just who they are potentially with. I hope this helps

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    Yes I know about them and their underhand methods of obtaining contracts. I was tricked into signing a contract and am having greet difficulty getting out of it.peninsula are in it for the money and bleed small businesses dry.be careful when dealing with them they are nasty

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    Default Re: Peninsula Business Services and their trading practices

    I will be reporting them to the FSA

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