Andrew Wild - Head of Legal at First4InjuryClaims

Andrew Wild is head of legal at First4InjuryClaims, which was set up in 2021 to help road traffic accident victims and enable First4Lawyers to solely focus on supporting panel firms who had moved away from such work following the whiplash reforms. Here, Andrew, a qualified solicitor who lives with his wife and two children in Stockport, explains how he started out and is helping others do the same.

I always say that I owe a lot of my legal career to my family.

I originally chose to study business studies at university, but I knew almost immediately that it wasn’t for me, and it was my mum and dad who supported my decision to drop out and take a year off as long as I “used the time wisely”.

I studied law at college and found it really interesting so I sent my CV off to all the local law firms I could find in the hope that one of them would give me a job. I was fortunate that one of the firms I applied to – Leech & Co Solicitors in Manchester – did. By the time I went back to university to study law the following year, I had worked my way up from office junior to the accounts team which gave me a really good grounding in how a personal injury practice works.    

I went to university in Sheffield but am originally from Stockport and moved back after graduating as Leech & Co had offered me a training contract. My wife Emily, who I met at university, ended up training at the same firm. I stayed there for almost eight years, latterly as an associate solicitor specialising in road traffic accident claims.

After this I spent just over a year at BLM (now Clyde & Co) during which I gained valuable experience working on the insurer side of a claim before moving to a new firm, WNS Legal Assistance, initially as an operations manager before taking over as head of legal and handling all aspects of their SRA compliance.

When I saw my current position advertised by First4Lawyers, it ticked all the boxes for me. Setting up a firm from scratch was what we did at WNS and it just felt like a great opportunity to be part of building something new and to join such a well-known and well-respected brand.

It was an interesting time to join the business in terms of the market being in a state of flux, but I feel we have (and continue) to weather the reforms together. It sounds cliched but the firm really is like a family where we all support one another and listen to everyone’s ideas and opinions.

In less than two years, First4InjuryClaims has secured more than £3million in compensation for injured claimants and our average settlement times are over 100 days faster than the 251-day wait currently faced by those using the government’s Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal. Indeed, our success has been such that the managers of the OIC reached out after reading about us in the media and we are now in regular contact, including attending a recent roundtable of stakeholders to share learnings and best practice to try and improve the user experience.   

First4InjuryClaims has also grown exponentially. We have an experienced team and our success has meant we have been able to expand and offer several people their first steps on the legal ladder, something I feel very passionate about after the opportunities I was given by Leech & Co. We have formed close links with the University of Huddersfield and our new recruits include some of its graduates. I was also invited to speak to students at the university during a careers fair held there earlier this year and hope to continue that relationship with them.

Day-to-day my job is varied. I can be dealing with compliance queries, answering technical questions, reviewing processes and procedures, or planning for the future. First4Lawyers is 15 years old this year and hasn’t got where it is by being complacent, but by thinking about what’s next.

Finally, about me, I’m a keen cyclist and am lucky to live in Marple with the Peak District on my doorstep. When I need to let off some steam I jump on my bike and clock up around 6,000 miles a year. I’m also on the first team at Marple Cricket Club and when I’m not playing sport, I’m watching it. I’ve been a season ticket holder at Manchester City since 1999 and try to get to as many home and cup games as I can.


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