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Mark Gayler shares his experience starting out as an associate solicitor at Minster Law and how his first year has gone.

I started work with Minster Law in the Serious Injury team as an Associate Solicitor just over a year ago.  Although I live in Cheltenham and Minster Law is based in Wakefield, I decided to make the move as it is a predominantly work from home role with an occasional visit to the office, once every 6 weeks. My background over the last 12 years is in multi-track claims, concentrating mainly on amputation claims for bikers and the quality of work Minster Law does in this area was a significant driver for me taking the role.

My first day involved travelling up to Wakefield where I picked up my laptop and then spent the week in training. The first few weeks were very different from what I had previously found when joining a new firm. There was no massive hurry to give me a full caseload and I was given time to do the required training remotely. I spent many hours completing training exercises on Rise and getting to know in more detail how Minster Law works and I was allocated an experienced AFE, Candice Watson.

The training was excellent, and even though I had used Proclaim before and know how it works, I felt that there was still a lot to learn to help me use the case management system more efficiently. Minster Law’s Proclaim system is very different to my previous employer’s version and, although looks the same on the main screen, the workflows and documents are completely different so I was grateful to have Candice to help me to find what I needed.

After a few weeks, I started to get a caseload. With Covid-19, I had not been to see clients for some time, so it was good to get on the road once again and meet the clients and their families face to face. This helps to build a much closer relationship and means the clients are more likely to trust your advice and accept what you say. These types of claim can mean you will be in their life for 3 or more years so you can create a bond and the empathic link necessary to be a good catastrophic injury lawyer. It is essential that you create that trust and each client feels they are important to you so that when you get to any “sticky” situations, they inherently trust your judgement.

The work quality is, as promised, good and I am looking forward to getting more high value quality cases throughout the summer.

The set up of Associate, AFE and Case Assistant at Minster Law works well. It means the right people are doing the right work which should therefore result in a higher recovery rate on costs.

Regular reviews with the associates and their input is welcome. I often found it difficult at previous employers to find someone to bounce ideas off, but here there is a large group of very knowledgeable associates, who make themselves accessible as and when they can. It is a simple process to discuss and reach conclusions and develop case plans. If I don’t know, someone probably will! The expertise within the multi-track department is something to be proud of.

The Executive team is also accessible which is a welcome change for me.

The emphasis on the core values, which sit at the forefront of Minster Law’s way of working is a big positive. The CSR days are also something new to me and to “give back” is a great opportunity. I have contacted my local food bank and am now a regular there and I also spend time at their community allotment.

It has been an interesting year, with new challenges and, there are bound to be more in future. What I can safely say however is that I am enjoying working for Minster Law. Their business proposition is impressive and their wish to improve, to provide excellent service to their clients is commendable and I have no doubt their ambitious expansion plans are achievable. It is up to us, as valued employees to help Minster Law achieve those aims and to continually increase and improve upon the service we provide to our clients.

I am looking forward to the next 12 months and beyond and the future exciting developments in store for us all at Minster Law.

Minster Law’s serious injury team is one of the largest in the UK, with specialists in head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, and injuries resulting in amputation and limb damage. Please visit our vacancies to see what opportunities are available in the team.