First4Lawyers in the Media - June 2023

Claimant firms must work together to remind consumers of their rights, our head of marketing Andy Cullwick told Insurance POST.

Commenting on the second anniversary of the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal, he said it was time to look to the future. “Like it or loathe it, the OIC is here to stay.”

“The biggest issue for me is the drastic drop in the number of claims, which has almost halved in the last five years,” he said.

“The pandemic and the prospect of reduced damages undoubtedly contributed. However, cuts to law firms’ advertising budgets and the increasing move away from mainstream platforms to more below-the-line methods may have also played their part.”

Andy’s call for greater collaboration was also reported by Legal Futures and Insurance Claims.

“Perhaps consumers simply aren’t as aware of their right to claim these days and, if so, is it time that we, as an industry took action to address that,” he added.

“The idea of competitors coming together and investing time and money in this non-branded approach, particularly when budgets are stretched, may seem counter-intuitive, but it may also be the only way we will see the market bounce back.”

Andy shared his thoughts on the increasing use of AI technology in another article for Insurance Claims on content creation. Should we be worried about robots taking over our jobs? Not just yet.

“It is a useful tool, but as a foundation rather than to create a finished product,” he said.

“It can source information, images and templates much quicker than its human counterparts, but it does not yet have the ability to produce the same high-quality content.”

Elsewhere, our latest White Paper – Trust me I’m a lawyer – Marketing legal services in 2023 – continues to be referenced in industry media, this time in an article discussing the need for firms to move with the times or face losing clients and staff in Consultancy UK.   

Andrew Wild, head of legal at our sister company First4InjuryClaims, was also called upon for comment following the publication of draft rules that will govern the extension of fixed recoverable costs for most cases worth up to £100k.

He urged caution and called for clarification of “several uncertainties” to enable law firms to be able to plan properly for the changes.  

Speaking to Legal Futures, he added: “The primary consideration must be how this will affect the consumer, and, in my view, it would be far better to delay these reforms for this consideration to be undertaken rather than rush them through and risk eroding access to justice.”

First4InjuryClaims also featured in Insurance Claims after reaching a milestone £2million paid out in compensation for injured claimants in its first 18 months of trading.

The firm was set up in response to the whiplash reforms to handle road traffic accident enquiries that continued to come through First4Lawyers, despite the group ceasing all marketing activity in that area.

Andrew Wild said: “While other firms struggled to adapt and find a profitable way of doing the same work with much tighter margins, we were able to model our business plan around the reforms and dovetail the systems and processes we use with those of the OIC.

“I think we can all agree that the portal was not ready to go live when it did but, almost two years on, with 90% of claimants still instructing a lawyer for their OIC claim, the need for firms like ours is now greater than ever.”


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