Wonga fake law firms — where did they get those names?

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By Judge John Hack on

Parody accounts already alive on Twitter as pay-day lender coughs up millions in compensation.


Boardroom executives at Newcastle United FC will be having third or fourth thoughts today about their controversial decision to cut a sponsorship deal in 2012 with Wonga, after the pay-day lender was slapped yesterday with a monster fine for chasing loans through fake law firms.

But regardless of how the drama plays out at St James’ Park and other commercial fall-out from the Financial Conduct Authority’s £2.6 million penalty, what about those law firms names? How did the bright sparks at Wonga come up with Chainey D’Amato & Shannon and Barker and Lowe Legal Recoveries?

The first seems to be designed to set real fear into the hearts of those poor Wonga customers who failed to keep pace with the lender’s 5,800% annual interest rate.

Chainey — while spelt differently — elicits subtle images of former hard man US vice president Dick Cheney, who back in 2006 accidently shot a fellow hunter while prowling for quail in Texas.

D’Amato, while bringing to mind the general ambiance of Sicilian characters who have very specific debt-collection techniques, was also the surname of Costantino “Cus”, the renowned American boxing trainer, who brought Floyd Paterson and Mike Tyson to the professional ring.

And Shannon — well, that’s the name of an international airport in the west of Ireland.

Meanwhile, Barker and Lowe has something of the posh bootmakers about it. Perhaps Wonga reserved collection letters from it for those of its punters considered to be in the more middle class bracket.

Already parody Twitter accounts have emerged, with Chainey D’Amato & Shannon telling potential clients “We fight to get what’s owed you”.


While Barker and Lowe’s location is enigmatically listed as “nowhere”.


It is certainly just a matter of time before these accounts begin to promote stunning PEP figures and news of stellar partnership promotions.

Further reading:

Paralegal who sent takedown notice to remove Wonga parody meme forced into internet hiding [Legal Cheek]