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The financial stability of our Serious Injury team allows us to provide the best service

Richard Harwood

Richard Harwood - Financial Stability

While most eyes have been fixed on the financial stability of PI firms navigating the ‘whiplash reforms’, Serious Injury Technical Manager Richard Harwood says the benefits of financial stability in our higher value cases is Minster Law’s “best kept secret.”

Having worked as a personal injury solicitor over the last 28-years I am aware of the financial impact running these types of cases can have on a firm.

Complex cases, where clients have life-changing injuries, can take several years to conclude and through the lifetime of a case a firm will need to pay large sums of money upfront to get the right outcome for clients.

Top medical experts can cost thousands of pounds and there isn’t just one medical expert, there can be up to six or seven. One court fee can cost over £10,000 alone.

In my experience it is typical for a firm to have to stand £100,000 in costs.

A lot of firms request upfront fees from clients – with no guarantee these will be paid back – or the firm takes out a facility with the bank, for which the client is then charged the interest – that’s common in the personal injury industry.

At Minster, we aren’t in that situation.
Our financial position means we don’t have to charge clients for thing most other firms do.

We won’t take money from the client’s final damages, to pay for court fees or medical reports, charge them interest on money borrowed and we don’t charge for any shortfall in our own costs.

Most of our competitors do.

We have the strength and depth to provide a dedicated top-ranking professional lawyer to each and every claim, without the client have any concerns about losing their damages to top up.

The benefits of our stability go so far beyond the financial reward because they give us the freedom to run the cases as they should be run, being as proactive as possible, to keep the client on the front foot at all times.

If the defendant won’t come forward with, for instance, an interim payment that’s suitable, we will always put the client first and will issue proceedings to obtain the right outcome, rather than delaying and procrastinating due to financial constraints.

This means our clients do not miss out on the rehabilitation or support they require for loss of earnings, they do not risk being put on the poverty line or left to the whim of the defendant.

There is no requirement for a defendant to make an interim payment until proceedings have been issued, before then it is a voluntary choice.

Defendants use this point to seek to take control of the claim and of the client’s rehabilitation.

However, because of our financial stability we do not have to be subject to this control and can put the client in the driving seat.

Recently we issued proceedings on a £10million valued claim after little more than a year because the defendant was refusing to provide sufficient interim payments for the client.

I authorised to issue at one year, instead of three, to ensure the client got the right level of care and support they needed.

Having financial stability can also make the difference when it comes to getting access to quality, early rehabilitation. We currently have more than one ongoing claim with a defendant who are only willing to offer rehabilitation if it is through their own third-party supplier, this is a widespread issue that most people don’t realise is happening. The reason the defendants can do this is because claimant law firms will not issue proceedings early enough because they can’t afford to.

We are in a position where we can say to them, if you do not agree to our preferred supplier, that will do the best for our client, then we will issue proceedings and go for an interim payment application – this is where our financial muscle really makes a difference.

We receive feedback from our independent barristers and cost firms that this approach results in our clients receiving a second to none service and damages as good as, if not better, than most firms can achieve, as not only are we proactive, but we use the best experts money can buy.

At Minster our focus is making sure the client always gets the best service and support that’s right for them.

Choosing a financially stable law firm puts clients in the best position for their healthcare, rehabilitation, and final compensation award.