The Solicitor's Regulatory Authority have apparently confirmed that CEL is the parent company of DEAL, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that passing parking charges to DEAL may be a way of artificially increasing costs.
I can now confirm that I received a response from Civil Enforcement Ltd, the parent company of Debt Enforcement & Action Ltd, which confirmed that the solicitor in question is Michael SCHWARTZ, SRA id 118966. I can confirm that this person is a solicitor currently on the Roll of Solicitors of England & Wales and does hold a current Practising Certificate. Furthermore Civil Enforcement Ltd has informed me that they have written to the Court informing them that there was a spelling error on the claims documents issued by referring to the solicitor as "SHWARTS"Mr Shwartz has a colourful history, and pepipoo poster freddy1 did some telephone research.
Michael David SCHWARTZ went into practice 15 march 1979; last known job was with Daryl Ingram and co of Hendon, but then there was no trace after 14 Dec 2011Full information on the finding order is available
There is a findings order against him, fined £1000 by the SRA, solicitors disciplinary tribunal ref tri/688-00-cbj
It appears a cheque somehow found itself in the wrong bank account.
This may well be him
Pepipoo poster Gan has more information on Mr Schwartz.
He does exist and was, last year, signing CEL forms while associated with the Sethi Partnership
SnapperTV who produced the recent Dispatches programme told me that Sethi denied the association.
It must have come as something of a surprise [to Sethi] that he had sent angry replies from their email account when defendants asked if he'd actually prepared the forms
Most of us are incredulous that a professional solicitor could even produce a document as amateurish as a DEAL claim, let alone fail to notice that he'd mis-spelled his own name hundreds of times
A number of defendants who had received these amateurish claim forms wrote to Mr Schwartz and asked if he actually completed then, and if so, whether he really charged CEL £50 for them. They suspected someone might be impersonating them. Mr Schwartz refused to answer on the grounds of client confidentiality.
He used to get very upset when defendants emailed him via Sethi Partnership's main address to ask him :
1 to confirm that he'd prepared the CEL forms
2 if he'd seen the letters that they had assigned the debt to a third party
3 to confirm that he'd charged £50 to prepare the claim
4 should Part 18 requests for information be sent to him or directly to his client ?
Especially if the contact was made "because the claim didn't appear to be written by someone that was legally qualified and the defendant was concerned that he had been impersonated"The Prankster would like to investigate the possibility that Mr Schwartz allowed his signature to go onto CEL's claim forms in return for a small fee, say £10. CEL claims always state the solicitor fee is £50, allowing them to pocket say £40 extra. The Prankster does not know whether this is legal, but it certainly seems to be pushing the boundaries.
The Prankster looks forward to an update after tomorrow's hearing.
The Parking Prankster