Share this article on FacebookShare this article on TwitterShare this article on LinkedinShare this article on RedditShare this article on PinterestExpert Author Sharona B Benjamin
The SRA requires UK solicitor firms to ‘take into account the individual needs and circumstances of each client.’

It is clear therefore that the SRA is steering UK lawyers to find and instruct ‘best fit’ medical experts who are the most suitable for each case because they:

are local to the client,
have an appropriate medical discipline and specialism
speak the same language as the client (or have translation available) – if the client does not have strong English skills
are the same gender as the client (if cultural needs necessitate this)
and so on…
Meeting all of these needs may seem like a tall order so how can solicitor firms go about finding such an expert? Based on our work with solicitor firms across the UK we have identified a range of current working practices:

The DIY Route: Some firms over-rely on a narrow database of experts – many have favoured local GPs and Orthopaedic Surgeons who are sent the bulk of their instructions.

The advantages to the firm are clear but the method appears to be more firm-focused than client-focused.

The Commercial Agency Route: Other firms rely on third-party commercial agencies to instruct experts on their behalf. These commercial agencies pay low set fees to their experts and instruct those who are prepared to sign up to these terms.

This is great for the commercial agency but where does the client fit in the decision-making process?

In both of the above examples the client is not at the centre of the process and this is something that is of great concern to the SRA who’s focus is to ensure the best quality of client care for UK claimants.

The SRA’s Code of Conduct on Client Care (0(1.5) states: ‘The service provided to clients needs to be competent, delivered in a timely manner and take account of clients’ needs and circumstances..’

The Optimal Route for Solicitors: Instructing via their own Agency: Firms need to find a win-win situation for everyone. In fact there’s no reason they shouldn’t find a WIN-WIN-WIN situation!!

Firms with an in-house agency can take the time to individually source the most appropriate expert for each case. This, in all likelihood, will result in a robust report that maximises the value of the claim. This is a win for everyone…

WIN! The solicitor firm and their in-house agency win because they find a knowledgeable expert that is best-suited to providing a high quality report for their client. The icing on the cake is that working directly with the expert means that the solicitor’s own agency earns the profit and not a third-party agency.

WIN! The expert wins because he is paid a fair rate for the report. This often has the added benefit of clients being given more time and greater attention during their consultation when compared to clients seen by experts instructed by low-paying commercial agencies.

WIN! The client wins because they have an appointment with a doctor who is an expert in their field and who meets their individual requirements. This results in a top calibre report that represents the full impact of the accident on their health.

Next time you instruct an expert for a PI case, make sure the client is paramount in your mind and you’ll be sure to tick all the SRA’s boxes.

Setting up your own agency is a great way to earn profits and fund a more client-centred approach to your instructions.

By yanam49

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.