So many people have said I must be crazy to start my own Law Firm in this day and age when the Government are killing off Personal Injury firms practically every week with new changes to the costs payable to claimant solicitors, a Tariff based system for whiplash probably being introduced as soon as 2018 and considerations being given to fixed fees in Medical Negligence claims. Some that I have spoken to are leaving the profession having had enough of the “constant battle” and “uphill struggle to stay afloat” nowadays and have advised me to change carer while I am still young enough (39yrs of age!).
Well I always enjoyed a challenge and whilst “I am still young enough” I am willing to give it my all and see what happens.
It is not my intention to hit the PI market hard and fast, as some of the other firms I worked for did. I intend to start slowly, find my feet, not grow too big too soon and most importantly provide my clients with the service I know they so desperately want, instead of just being a case number as they are in other firms.
I am lucky enough to have had a lot of repeat custom over the years and client keeping my mobile number so that they can call me years after an accident to refer someone else, or because they have another claim. This is the benefit of giving my clients the more personal touch of being available to them on my mobile, Facebook, linked, twitter etc. I also found that doing community work helps with the personal touch and can make a difference to your community profile.
Yes I know that I don’t have tens of thousands of pounds to invest but that is ok, I don’t need it. I have good relationships with service providers which means that I can get some services on deferred payment arrangements, but know not to build these deferred payments up in to unmanageable figures.
Having contacts and good relationships with people comes with time and experience. Anyone can sell themselves but without substance behind you, you are selling nothing. So often I see people on social media boasting about the deals they have made and the money they have. It is all nonsense. A wise man once said a rich person does not need to talk about the money they have, it is those who don’t really have it that have to talk about it all the time, and I find the same principle to be true in the legal world.
A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant and on another table was an older gentleman entertaining several people, clients I thought, but as the conversation progressed, and believe me I was not earwigging this man was the loudest person I have come across in a long time, he was telling his staff that they were the best Law Firm on the Wirral. Well I have worked for a few and I had never met this guy before. He continued in his loud obnoxious way, that no one has made a difference in the legal world in the North West for quite some time, and knew that he was one of the best Solicitors on the Wirral no contest. His staff, as you can imagine where lapping this up, “of course you are, your’e the greatest” they all said. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked the waitress who he was. When she told me I had to google him and the firm, I had never heard of either and I have lived on the Wirral all my 39yrs of life and worked at many a firm.
I later met a girl who worked for him and she told me that he was like that in work too and not only that but he also went around the office tweaking bras and phoning female staff late at night asking them to tell him how to set an alarm on his phone, only to tell clients the following day he spoke with them whilst they were in bed! I am thankful now that I did not have the displeasure of working for him, however I have worked for similar bosses convinced of their own “greatness”. I hope never to turn out like them.
There is a difference between those who think they are great and those who are great. I would like to be a quiet great and do a job I throughly love doing without the need to shout it from the rooftops how great I “think I am”.