Claims Direct has been bought, reportedly, by a Lancashire businessman for £1m.

Entrepreneur and IT specialist Mick Shepherd was reported to have beaten former boss Ronnie Henderson to buy the noto ...

Claims Direct has been bought, reportedly, by a Lancashire businessman for £1m.

Entrepreneur and IT specialist Mick Shepherd was reported to have beaten former boss Ronnie Henderson to buy the notorious ambulance chaser.

The deal includes the Claims Direct brand and call centre.

The deal was negotiated by Deloitte & Touche, which declined to identify the purchaser.

But receiver Bob Maxwell said that other Claims Direct assets were still for sale.

These included its claims processing technology and debtor book.

The company went into receivership last month after running out of cash.

Henderson was said to be planning to set up a rival after being beaten in a race between six bidders to buy his old company.

The Claims Direct brand was considered by some to be the most valuable part of the business, despite being labeled `Shames Direct' by The Sun newspaper over its fees.

Many customers had been left furious after discovering that compensation awards were wiped out by charges ranging between £1,300 and £1,500.

The sale is unlikely to speed up payments for the company's many creditors.

One of the largest, Epoq, received judgment last week that it is owed £430,000 and is waiting for judgment on a further £1.2m.

Joint chief executive Richard Cohen said: "If anyone's going to get money out of Claims Direct it's not going to be readily apparent for some time. There are 100,000 cases and it's all going to take a year or two."

Epoq had been planning to launch an online legal service after a similar project with More Th>n failed.