SSB Law collapse: Legal action by insurance firm paused as it seeks ‘a way forward’

The insurance company RSA said it has paused enforcement action in connection with the cavity wall insulation claims once handled by SSB Law as it works with all parties involved in the administration “to understand a way forward”.

A spokesman for RSA said that SSB Law has represented individuals in claims against RSA as the insurer for a number of now insolvent cavity wall insulation businesses. Where a litigated claim has failed, this resulted in the individual becoming liable to meet RSA’s court awarded costs.

The spokesman said: “We have no direct knowledge of whether SSB Law had made their clients aware of the liability if their claim failed, or if assurances were given as to how that liability might be met. Anyone unsatisfied with SSB Law’s conduct should report their concerns to the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Legal Ombudsman. We had been working with SSB Law to resolve these matters directly and suspended recovery of unpaid costs in December 2023 when SSB Law failed to respond to their clients concerns. On January 4 2024, SSB Group formally entered administration and since that time we have been actively working with all parties involved in the administration process to understand how we might find a way forward for all concerned, including those individuals who have agreed to settle their costs liability.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The spokesman confirmed the enforcement action remained suspended “while we move towards a resolution”.

An RSA spokesman said: "We confirm enforcement action remains suspended while we move towards a resolution." (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire)An RSA spokesman said: "We confirm enforcement action remains suspended while we move towards a resolution." (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
An RSA spokesman said: "We confirm enforcement action remains suspended while we move towards a resolution." (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

“In the meantime we would urge anyone impacted by SSB Law’s administration to contact the Solicitor Manager, Andrew Gregory of Leonard Curtis. Mr Gregory is appointed directly by the administrator and his role is to provide support to SSB’s former client’s.”

An AXA UK spokesperson, said that over a number of years, SSB Law and other legal firms had encouraged homeowners to bring claims against cavity wall insulation businesses to court.

He added: “The vast majority of these claims have failed and, where we insure the business, this means the third-party claimant becomes liable for AXA UK’s court-awarded costs unless they are covered by adequate After the Event (ATE) insurance. This is despite these legal firms often advising their clients that these claims are made on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. We sympathise with the situation faced by those individuals who believe they were misled by SSB Law and who are liable for court costs since it went into administration. As a result, we have paused recovery of unpaid costs while SSB Law’s clients seek alternative legal representation.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A spokesperson for the insurance company QBE added: “Our role is to support our customers, whether that's paying valid claims quickly or defending them from claims that have no merit.  Unfortunately, as is reported, some legal firms have been encouraging homeowners to bring unsubstantiated claims relating to cavity wall installation, with the unrealistic promise of financial recompense.   Encouraging individuals to take cases to court that have no merit can have serious consequences for those involved, a fact that is often not made clear to them at the outset.  We understand how upsetting this situation is for those who took these claims to court and we would encourage them to speak to the SRA about what their options are and to ensure the solicitors involved are held to account.”

Anthony Collier and Kelly Burton of specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed as joint administrators of SSB Group Limited last month when it ceased trading, with 192 employees made redundant.

A spokesman said that, in relation to the cavity wall insulation claims cases, the administrators have entered into an agreement with JMR Solicitors to provide independent advice to these clients to help bring these cases to a close and make any adverse costs claims.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.