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Djanogly accused over brother-in-law's claims management business

4 October 2011

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly is facing conflict of interest claims over two management firms, Going Legal and Legal Link Introductory Services, owned by his brother-in-law, Ben Silk.

According to The Guardian yesterday, the two firms make an annual profit of £130,000. One of them, Going Legal, specialises in ‘genuine no win, no fee’ compensation claims in employment cases.

Djanogly’s young children were reported as having shares in both businesses, which the minister has been accused of failing to disclose.

However, the newspaper reported that these shares, worth less than one per cent of each company and carrying no voting rights, had been sold at their issue price.

Djanogly is responsible both for the regulation of claims management companies and for legal aid, which faces budget cuts of £350m.

The government’s recent decision to ban referral fees is unlikely to help his brother-in-law’s business activities, but the abolition of legal aid in employment cases might do, as clients turn to other sources of help.

The shadow justice minister, Andy Slaughter, has previously complained to the cabinet secretary about another of Djanogly’s financial interests, in insurance companies.

In the past three years, the minister is reported as having earned around £40,000 a year from being a minority partner in the Djanogly Family LLP.

He is also said to have investments worth £195,000 in Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds TSB, which have insurance arms.

The justice minister is heading the government’s implementation of the Jackson reforms, which are strongly supported by the insurance industry and could potentially save it large amounts of money.

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