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Citizens Advice response to Law Commission consultation which includes recommendations for new laws regarding ‘civil recovery’

12 April 2011

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said: “We warmly welcome proposals, published today by the Law Commission, which seek to create a new law under which individuals can bring their own legal action against companies where they have been the victim of unfair commercial practice.

“We particularly welcome the Commission’s thorough consideration of how existing regulation applies to the growing retail practice of threatened ‘civil recovery’ - an issue on which we have been campaigning for two years* - and its recommendation that, to avoid any doubt, the practice should be covered by its proposed reform of consumer protection legislation.

“We are also delighted that the Law Commission has confirmed that there is no legal basis for ‘fixed sum’ demands** such as those demanded in every single alleged shoplifting related case we have examined.”

*See our reports Uncivil recovery, December 2010 and Unreasonable demands, December 2009

**Paragraph 3.33 (of Part 3) of ‘Reforming Consumer Redress for Misleading and Aggressive Practices’, Law Commission, April 2011

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors:

  1. This year the Citizens Advice service celebrates its 75th anniversary. We’ve planned a year of activity running from January to December 2014. Contact the press office on 03000 231 080, or via email at press.office@citizensadvice.org.uk, to find out more.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.