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ARMS directors respond

The directors of collapsed accident management business ARMS have responded to criticism from bodyshops left owed more than £500,000.

Sandra Hunter-Coulson and Andy Partridge say they had “no indication” that ARMS’ sole work provider, insurance broker Endsleigh, was not intending to renew its three-year contract when it expired last February. The new contract was awarded to Motorcare, and Hunter-Coulson and Partridge subsequently put ARMS into voluntary administration.

Yet the duo admit that Endsleigh had already started taking claims handling in-house and had invited ARMS to tender for the renewal.

Administrators at KPMG are pursuing Endsleigh for money that Hunter-Coulson claims is due from as far back as 1996. Repairers gathered at this month’s Auto Body Professionals Club criticized the duo for not chasing the debts earlier.

Andrew Moody of Retail Motor Law says the deadline for beginning legal action to recover debts under a contract is six years. Moody believes ARMS’ chances of recovering debts from the mid-nineties is “unlikely”.

Hunter-Coulson says: “We have several million in the bank which we could have squandered and cleared off to the Caribbean but we are determined to see this through.”

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