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Supporting the Macmillan Coffee Morning 2014

October 1, 2014 at 3:02 PM
World's Biggest Coffee Morning logo

On Friday 26th September for the second year running Spencers took part in the world's biggest coffee morning as part of Macmillan Cancer Support's largest fundraising event.

Macmillan Cancer Support strives to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. One in three of us will get cancer, we are all affected by it and we can all help.

Last year over 154,000 people signed up to the event which raised a record £20 million, Macmillan are still yet to announce the grand total for 2014 but hopefully it will set a new record.

As always Spencers employees and their families were involved in a variety of activities including:

* Baking up fabulous cakes, muffins, cream teas - you name it and it was on offer on the day

* Rustling up drinks and treats for sale throughout the day

* Turning the Spencers café area into its very own coffee shop, serving up drinks and treats for sale throughout the day

* Staff brought friends and children in for the day with a show reel of Disney films on offer

* Luxury raffle during the lead up to the day with this year’s top prize being a top of the range Coffee Machine

* Organising competitions including guess the pet's owner

Whist the whole office was involved with raising an amazing £277; special thanks must go to the main organisers Linda Murray, Charlotte Banks, Lisa Morris and Lizzy Cardwell.

So please help support Macmillan and make an online donation.

Buns on offer at our Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning

Follow Spencers Solicitors's board Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning on Pinterest.

Posted in: News


Fraudulent claims - just how big an issue are they?

September 29, 2014 at 3:49 PM

In my last blog I touched on the issue of fraudulent claims, which can regularly be seen hitting the British headlines - often alongside telling photographs of supposedly injured claimants obliviously pursuing high-octane activities.

Car and £50 notes

In tackling this I am most certainly in favour of ensuring that those fraudulently pursuing compensation or seeking to recover more compensation than they are entitled to are stopped. However claiming that this is a plague of modern times, tied up in accusations of 'compensation culture', is somewhat misguided. According to information released by Aviva in 2011, frivolous and questionable claims are nothing new in the UK.

Questionable claims from years gone by

Aviva's archives contain evidence of claims made in bygone years which would be questionable even today:

1. Hotel keeper, London, opening bottle of champagne - blow in the eye with cork - £25 10s (Railway Passengers, 1878)

2. Mason, Huntingdon, injured lifting headstone - £72 (Railway Passengers, 1886)

3. Surgeon, Dundee, examining mouth of patient - bite of forefinger - £15 (Scottish Accident, 1888)

4. Stationer, Chorlton, fall over croquet hoop - £33 (Railway Passengers, 1870)

5. Grocer, Lancashire, slipped when playing with children game of blind man's buff - £15 (Railway Passengers, 1878)

These claims are almost 150 years old, yet we often see very similar claims held up in the UK media as example of 'compensation gone mad'. Claiming for such minor incidents is not new, but such examples do highlight the long-standing appreciation held by the UK legal system of a need to seek justice for those who have suffered injury.

The criminal side of claiming

One of the largest criminal activities in compensation today is undoubtedly the rise of orchestrated or staged accidents. However few have been on such an ambitiously large scale as the recent story of a 26-strong Sheffield gang.

The group in question filled a bus with 26 fake victims, and then staged a collision with a separate vehicle with the intention of making bogus compensation claims. As told to Sheffield Crown Court, the single-decker bus was filled with the gangs' own passengers before another car driven by another member of the gang deliberately crashed into the bus at low speed.

When police and ambulance staff arrived only one man appeared to be injured and the offending vehicle had disappeared. Yet strangely 26 claims were then made by the 'passengers' for whiplash injuries, and the bus company had to set aside £250,000 to pay compensation. However, it soon became clear that all was not right, and so Sheffield Mainline made enquiries and reported the stage accident, eventually resulting in a prosecution and four convictions.

First Bus in Sheffield

Not every minor injury is fraudulent

As the last example showed, it would be naive to think fraudulent claims don't happen today. Yet it is equally naive to believe every whiplash claim is staged or fraudulent, and in fact fraudulent claims account for the minority of injury compensation. Yet as that doesn't make for a good news story, we are unlikely to see it published alongside the sensational headlines.

Indeed a recent Transport Committee report looking at the cost of motor insurance found that:

There is no authoritative data publicly available about the prevalence of fraud or exaggeration and no consensus about what constitutes fraud.

An accessible justice system will always give rise to unscrupulous people attempting to exploit it. But while solicitors, insurance companies and the Government all need to continue to fight fraud, this should not be at the expense of the vast majority of genuinely injured people.

It is also worth remembering that much of the press around fraudulent claims come from the insurance companies who have adopted a 'cheaper to pay than investigate' mentality when it comes to handling potentially fraudulent claims.


We have one of the most highly respected legal systems in the world, and our citizens have the benefit of a judicial system that is not corrupt and accessible to all. The fact that we are all able to pursue a claim for compensation when we are injured through no fault of our own, without financial risk, is a fact that should be celebrated and not chastised.

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments.


About the author

Louisa Chambers PhotoLouisa Chambers is a Chartered Legal Executive and Solicitor within Spencers catastrophic injury team. Louisa has a great deal of experience in acting for clients who have suffered serious and life changing injuries through accidents on the road or at work.

Louisa's previous blog was Breaking down the myths of 'Compensation Culture'.

Posted in: Blog


Spencers & Roadpeace - working together to support road crash victims

September 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Spencers Solicitors are pleased to announce their new role as a corporate supporter for RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims.

RoadPeace logo

RoadPeace works directly with those bereaved or injured through road crashes, providing much needed support and ensuring the trauma they suffer is acknowledged and justice achieved. They also campaign tirelessly for road danger reduction and fight to ensure adequate support services exist for victims and their loved ones, both in the immediate aftermath of road death or injury, and in the face of any legal obstacles.

Through their work they act to inform and influence a range of important groups including policy makers, government agencies, the media and the general public. Their vision is for a society in which road deaths and injuries are no longer seen as acceptable, road crash victims are respected for their rights to care and support, and justice is prioritised for all who suffer.

Jane Gittins Photo

Jane Gittins, Solicitor and Head of Legal Operations at Spencers Solicitors commented:

"Our lengthy experience with victims of road crashes means we are all too aware of the difficulties faced by so many in the aftermath of a tragic fatality. We are delighted to be able to support the stellar work RoadPeace do in both preventing future victims and aiding those already suffering from the trauma of a road crash."

Reflecting on the new partnership, Sara Dowling, Campaigns and Development Manager from RoadPeace said:

"Roadpeace is delighted to have Spencers Solicitors on board to support our work helping families after road death injury. Their legal position in fighting for justice for victims of road crashes means they hold valuable insight into how difficult it can be for people to negotiate the legal network. We look forward to working with them to campaign for a better outcome for road crash victims."

You can find out more about RoadPeace and the support services they provide at www.roadpeace.org and follow them on twitter @RoadPeace.

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