Test News Story

This quarter marked two major milestones for First4Lawyers which put us firmly in the media spotlight.

The first saw the long-awaited launch of First4InjuryClaims following approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The new alternative business structure (ABS), which received its licence on 7 October, was set up in response to the government’s much-criticised whiplash reforms and to help RTA claimants navigate the new online portal.

We announced our intention to set up the firm back in February, reported here in The Law Society Gazette. The official launch was covered by the likes of Insurance Business and Insider Media.

Our managing director, Qamar Anwar, commented: “It is incredibly important to us, as a group, that we provide consumers with the support they need at times when they are often at their most vulnerable.

“This new firm responds to that consumer need while also allowing us to be in the best position possible to support our panel firms who have had to adapt their business strategies to move away from RTA work.”

Our second milestone moment, in mid-October, was the release of our seventh annual white paper – ‘Making your customers happy’ – which launched via a webinar with more than 170 attendees.

Five years on from our 2016 white paper on customer service in the legal industry, this year’s 24-page report combines specially commissioned research with expert analysis and contributions from industry peers.

Our findings secured a sought-after editorial in The Times from Qamar, looking at how online reviews are now just a fact of life and in the future of law firms, whether they like it or not.

The Law Society Gazette also covered the white paper’s launch as well as Legal Futures, Solicitors Journal and New Law Journal. Our head of marketing, Andy Cullwick, also authored blogs on the topic for Legal Futures and Claims Mag.

The Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal, which went live at the end of May, hit the headlines again in October after the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) released the first tranche of data showing who had been using it in its first three months.

Early indications show that our concerns about people needing help to navigate the portal were spot on – figures show that around 90% of the claims had been submitted with assistance from a lawyer and there are fears that even those who did it alone had not properly understood the process.

We issued comment from Andy who was quoted in Insurance POST, Insurance Times, Law 360, Solicitors Journal and Legal Futures.

He said: “The purpose of these reforms was to enable unrepresented claimants to handle their own RTA claims as they were thought by the government to be straightforward. It is very clear that very few are using this portal by themselves, which suggests they are not comfortable in handling their claim via an insurer and need representation.

“This is exactly why we were forced into launching First4InjuryClaims to help those who require support through the process.”

Andy also wrote an article for Claims Media with his thoughts on why poor marketing of the OIC portal could be driving genuine claimants away.

With so many issues still surrounding it, we’re sure this will continue to provide us with plenty more comment opportunities as we enter the new year.

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