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Legal claim launched against the energy industry to recover secret broker commissions

Small and medium sized businesses, charities, schools and other organisations who have organised their energy supply contracts through a broker may be entitled to recover thousands of pounds in compensation.

Posted on 11 February 2023

Commissions for brokering business energy contracts with suppliers have been added on to energy bills without businesses being informed by the energy companies on an industrial scale since the energy market was deregulated, it has become clear.
Now law firm Leigh Day is launching a group claim to help businesses retrieve money paid for secret or half secret commissions that brokers have agreed in their deals with energy suppliers.

Energy broker commission claim

The amount that small and medium sized businesses have paid in commission that has been added on to their energy bills could be as much as £100,000.
In some cases the amount paid by businesses made up half their total energy bills.
Leigh Day says the overwhelming majority of businesses in the UK engage an energy broker when negotiating their energy contracts and almost all energy contracts organised before 2020 had secret commissions hidden in the contract so there are likely to be up to two million businesses with potential claims against the energy companies such as British Gas and EON.
The law firm aims to recover the money paid by businesses in secret or half-secret commissions over the past six years.
Leigh Day partner Oliver Holland is leading the group claim with solicitor Liberty Bridge.
Oliver Holland said:
“Under English law, a secret commission is considered a bribe. We believe that energy brokers are under a duty to provide information, advice or recommendations on an impartial or disinterested basis. We believe that there is clearly grounds for a claim by businesses against the energy companies for charging their business customers the commissions  without telling them that the it had been added to their energy bills.
“At a time when small and medium sized businesses are massively struggling to stay afloat in part due to the energy crisis, it is terrible that these businesses are being misled and having to pay greatly inflated bills for their energy whilst the energy industry is making huge profits.”
The group claim is being organised by Leigh Day on a no-win no-fee basis so that businesses who join the claim will not be asked to pay any fees unless the claim is successful.