First4Lawyers in the media - September 2021

As we entered July, and what is traditionally a quieter summer period for media, we started the month with our MD Qamar being quoted in an extensive piece in the Law Society Gazette, which looked in detail at the launch of the Official Injury Claim Portal (OICP). The piece examined just how user-friendly and appropriate the new portal is for claimants in person. Qamar was quoted as saying that the user guide, in particular, was “a minefield” and also voiced his concerns that there will be a lot of pushing back by defendants, with insurers saying to claimants “we’ll offer you a £240 payout today, or you can try and go through the system, try and navigate it yourself and end up with this same £240, or maybe less”. Claimants will be none the wiser and possibly intimidated by the legal aspect, and with no knowledge of what their injury is really worth, may take the offer for fear of the complicated process that lies ahead. The piece appeared both online and in print.

Later on in the month, our head of marketing Andy Cullwick submitted a blog to Insurance Claims analysing the impact of Covid-19 and whiplash reform on workplace and road traffic accident claims noting that if lockdown measures remain eased and there is a significant return to the workplace over the coming months, that he expects to see an increase in both road traffic accident searches and accident at work searches. However, he highlights that more data and time is needed to observe these trends to separate what is Covid-19 or CLA-related price inflation.

In August, with lockdown measures almost entirely eased, and a significant return to normality underway, a further blog was published by Insurance Claims, asking for how long can we, as consumers, of both professional and other services expect Covid-19 to impact on the quality of the customer service we receive? Andy Cullwick argued that businesses must remain mindful that those who continue to rely on the goodwill of customers accepting poor customer service as our lives slowly but surely adapt to more normality will find themselves vulnerable. The winners, as ever, will be those who looked ahead, adjusted as quickly as possible and continued to deliver consistently good service. Covid-19 cannot simply become a by-word for poor performance.

Finally, as the summer started to draw to a close, we authored an article for New Law Journal looking at just how essential a website is to a law firm’s business model. As you will know, we are vocal about law firms ensuring their marketing is seen as a central part of their business strategy and not just a ‘nice to have’ and undoubtedly these days, all firms need a web presence. The article analysed the differing requirements of large national firms, versus smaller local firms and what their focus should be on to ensure they achieve the outcome they need.

As we head into the final quarter of the year, we will continue to closely monitor how the new portal performs, and what effect this has on the market. We will also, hopefully, be able to look at what effect the pandemic continues to have had on the market and what a, hopefully, brighter 2022 holds.


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