On the Road with Nick Delaney - December 2022

On the road with Nick Delaney, head of business development at First4Lawyers

It has been a busy few months for First4Lawyers and the industry, not just in terms of corporate activity with a number of law firm acquisitions and consolidations but also in the courts, where cases of significant importance to the Personal Injury market have been heard.

The long-awaited ruling in Belsner v CAM Legal Services was finally handed down by the Court of Appeal in October, finding in favour of the solicitors on every single legal point against them by former client, Darya Belsner, and her legal representatives, checkmylegalfees.com.

Ahead of the ruling, First4Lawyers partnered with Civil & Commercial Costs to host a roundtable discussing the case with senior executives from panel and non-panel firms. This was preceded by news of the decision in Sweeney v Wise Solicitors Ltd, in which long-time First4Lawyers’ panel member Wise, headed by Simon Wise, was successful in defending the claim presented by Sweeney. The claimant was originally an enquiry passed to Wise Solicitors by First4Lawyers and the claim had been successfully handled by the firm, a fact referenced by the claimant themselves in the Bailli transcript.

The debate was lively and positive and was followed by another roundtable earlier this month, discussing not only issues post-Belsner but also the further delays to the rollout of fixed recoverable costs and the mixed injury cases involving both whiplash and non-whiplash injuries in the Official Injury Claim portal which were heard by the Court of Appeal on 30th November with judgement reserved. If you are interested in joining the next roundtable in Q1 2023, please drop me a line.

The roundtable preceded the release of our latest White Paper – ‘Trust me, I’m a lawyer – marketing legal services in 2023’ – which attracted a record number of delegates at its launch this year. I’m pleased to say that I have been able to relay to the team that worked so hard to put it together, the very positive comments received from industry peers.

Once again, we enjoyed another fabulous night out at the Personal Injury Awards, which this year took place at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel.  First4Lawyers was pleased to sponsor the ‘Clinical Negligence Team of the Year’ award, which this year was won by Anthony Gold Solicitors (a double celebration as the firm’s Jenny Kennedy also scooped Catastrophic Injury Lawyer of the Year). We were also shortlisted in the Claims Management of the Year. Our congratulations to all the winners and to Claims Media on organising another enjoyable event!

As the industry starts to wind down ahead of the Christmas break, I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday and a healthy and prosperous new year. One thing that’s certain is, as our White Paper showed, lawyers are a hardy bunch and I know we will come back stronger and face whatever it brings with the same resilience that has been shown in the past. I look forward to getting out on the road and seeing even more of you in 2023.




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