Rail operator First Capital Connect (FCC) is rueing Andrew Myers’ 2012 move from SNR Denton’s Milton Keynes office to Stephenson Harwood in the City of London — after the solicitor-advocate successfully sued them for failing to sell him the cheapest ticket on his new journey into work.
In hindsight, it was a perfect storm just waiting to be unleashed: a lawyer described by Chambers and Partners as “a red hot litigator” moves jobs and discovers a loophole that allows him to buy a season ticket from Watford North and use it from his home station of St Albans, which is further away from London. The Watford North ticket cost £3,068 a year, which is £700 cheaper than the St Albans version.
Such a “highly tenacious” individual would inevitably want to take the matter further when challenged by an FCC official and ordered to buy a separate ticket.
After said challenge, Myers (pictured) — who is further feted in Chambers and Partners for being “very much on the ball” — proceeded to obtain correspondence to and from FCC’s parent company, First Group, which warned that the loophole must be closed immediately as “the financial implications are massive”.
At which point a jittery FCC tried to settle the case and use a gagging order to prevent Myers discussing it.
Naturally, they were trumped by the determination of the real estate disputes specialist, who this week won what is being described as a “landmark case” case against FCC that potentially exposes it to hundreds of similar claims.
Speaking after his victory at St Albans County Court, a triumphant Myers, who was also awarded costs of £2,193, said: “Anyone who has bought a ticket in the past seven months should ask the company why they have been charged £700 more when they realised back in March a cheaper fare was available.”
He added: “It is outrageous that FCC have been selling season tickets for £700 more. I did not think it right that they could buy my silence.”
An FCC spokesperson said that Myers had uncovered a “previously unknown historic routing guide error that harks back to the days of British Rail” which it is now working to close.