Go back

SSB Law has recently featured in the news after giving notice of its intention to appoint administrators

Go back


SSB Law has recently featured in the news after giving notice of its intention to appoint administrators and following recent court claims in which abuse of process and limitation were considered by the court in a number of its litigated claims.


A few months earlier, in July 2023, the court found that SSB Law had underestimated the value of a significant number of claims leading to multiple findings of abuse of process.

The Judgment of District Judge Dawson was handed down in July this year (‘the July Judgment’), and was highly critical of SSB Law including its conduct, however the District Judge opted not to penalise the claimants it was representing, by allowing those affected cases to continue albeit, subject to caveats and costs sanctions.

The ultimate fate of these claims is still unclear and clients of SSB Law will no doubt be desperately worried about what will happen to their claims.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in these claims brought by SSB Law or any other law firm and you require independent legal advice, APJ Solicitors are available for you to discuss your concerns on our freephone national helpline on 0800 028 9791 or alternatively you can email your enquiry to enquiries@apjco.co.uk.

Abuse of Process – Failure to Pay Correct Court Fees

As of April this year, SSB Law confirmed it was on record for 1,428 litigated claims. The July Judgment followed the Defendant’s application for abuse of process in relation to a handful of test cases out of 143 issued through the new Damage Claims Portal.

The court heard that SSB Law declared the value of the claims to be no more than £10,000, which permitted it to pay a fixed court fee in the sum of £455 in respect of issuing each claim at court. Several months later, SSB Law amended the value of the claims, four of which were re-valued between £82,000 – £104,000, figures significantly higher that its initial assessments of the value of each claim. Therefore, the fees due to the court were significantly more than had originally been paid upon issue by SSB Law.

The District Judge determined the average underpayment for each case was £4,179, meaning SSB Law should have paid almost £600,000 in total to issue the claims but paid considerably less. The court heard there was at least a four-month delay in paying the correct fees and stated:

“The abuse of process perpetuated by the claimants in not paying the proper court fee at the issue of each of the four claims before me by mis-stating the expected value of the claim, is very significantly increased in terms of seriousness given the consequence that the appropriate court fee was not tendered at the time of the amendment.

‘This has had significant ramifications both in terms of the significant delay in paying the fees and also the amount of court resources that have additionally had to be utilised”

Lack of an Independent Expert

In three of the four test cases, the Defendant also raised concerns about expert evidence relied upon by claimants provided through initial reports from Charles Millar. At the time of producing the reports, Millar was a Director of a company called Eco Serv Surveyors Limited, which had been responsible for initially approaching the claimants about their potential cavity wall insulation claims.

The court heard that SSB Law had also acted for a claimant in May 2022 when the same defendant set out concerns about Millar and Eco Serv in considerable detail. That court found Millar was never independent as he was a Director of a company connected with a claims management company which would receive a percentage of compensation upon a successful claim. This connection created a conflict of interest.

The District Judge concluded it was an abuse of the court’s process to issue claims based on expert evidence from Millar when SSB Law had been informed there were significant concerns, supported by a disclosed document, as to his independence in a previous case. The District Judge stated:

“Whether that is indicative of a systematic and significant mismanagement is a question which the claimants’ solicitors need to consider,”

SSB Law was ordered to obtain fresh expert evidence ‘as a matter of urgency’ and given three months to obtain new reports. They were also ordered to pay the costs of any application that was based on an abuse of process and was debarred from recovering any costs incurred at the date when the claim was issued.

Normally the Claimants solicitor will ensure adequate insurance is in place before issuing a claim at court, in order to protect a Claimant from legal costs in the event their claim is unsuccessful, that is, when the claim is either lost at trial,  abandoned or settled after the Defendant has incurred costs which the claimant is liable to pay.

Given the uncertainty surrounding SSB Law it is not known whether those claimants will be exposed personally to adverse legal costs which are often significant.


The District Judge stated that many of the claims were issued on the very cusp of the limitation period which is the period within which a claim must be issued at court otherwise the claim is statute barred and as a result, potentially losing out on significant damages, compensation or relief form the court. SSB Law have been engaged in an appeal to the Court of Appeal in relation to limitation cases upon the issue of limitation, the outcome is yet unknown.

How Can We Help?

APJ Solicitors have extensive experience in advising clients regarding limitation issues and abuse of process concerns, either where their claims have already been struck out (ordered to come to an end by the court) or have not been issued at court in time (during the limitation period). If you believe you have been affected by any of the issues contained in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

As we specialise in these matters, we will be happy to assess the merits of any potential claim free of charge. In doing so, we will seek to obtain your solicitor’s original file of papers for our review, in order for us to determine any liability or fault. If we think the claim has sufficient prospects of success, we will offer you No Win, No Fee funding coupled with after the event insurance – as is required under our professional duties – ensuring you remain protected at all times from any potential  adverse legal costs.

If you would like to speak with us, we can arrange for an appointment with one of our team to discuss your enquiry with no obligation to instruct us moving forward. Please call today on our freephone national telephone number 0800 028 9791 or alternatively you can email your enquiry to enquiries@apjco.co.uk.

For more information please the link below: