2 November 2018
Yorkshire's police forces contracted company now ordered to pay Leeds firm damages
Yorkshire’s police forces agreed lucrative multi-million-pound contracts with a translation service that has since been ordered to pay damages to a firm after diverting its profits. Language Empire Limited was ordered in September to pay £142,044 to Leeds-based claimant the Big Word, which counts various Government departments among its global clientele. Following an Intellectual Property Enterprise Court trial, a judge ruled that the defendant, based in Rochdale, made “significant sales” by converting business enquiries from two of its websites which looked like they were connected with the Big Word. In a published court judgement, Judge Melissa Clarke assessed that this could have occurred from June 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 – the day before North, West, South and Humberside Police began contracts with the firm for translation, interpretation and transcription services on April 1.
SYP’s contract is worth an estimated £783,000, with HP’s at £515,000 and NYP’s at £490,000. These were arranged by the forces’ Regional Procurement team. A joint statement from the forces reads: “In light of the recent news regarding Language Empire Ltd, we are currently reviewing the information presented and our position in relation to the service.” Language Empire said the court action related to issues “initiated by a sub-contractor”.
A spokeswoman said: “On the advice of our legal team, we have submitted an appeal on the judge’s ruling and we are now in the early stages of that process. “Following the case, we have thoroughly reviewed our policies and procedures to ensure such issues cannot occur again in the future. “We are currently working closely with all of our clients to reassure them that these issues are historic and do not represent our values as a business. “All public sector work has been secured after rigorous procurement exercises, and we continue to deliver the high-quality services expected by our clients.”