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Spencers named among the top injury law firms in the Legal 500

October 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Derbyshire based law firm Spencers Solicitors, have been named among the top personal injury practices in the region according to the 2014 edition of Legal 500.

Legal 500 Leading Firm 2014 logo

The Legal 500 is now in its 27th year of publication and is widely acknowledged as the world's largest legal reference on the leading law firms operating within the UK, with the 2014 edition being published on 10th October 2014.

Spencers Solicitors are one of only thirteen practices in the East Midlands that received recommendation under the 'Claimant Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence' section with editorial comments of:

"Spencers Solicitors' varied practice takes in brain, spinal cord and industrial disease cases. The firm is also active for claimants on the regulatory side."

Robert Landman Photo

This is the second consecutive year that Spencers have been listed in the Legal 500 and Chief Executive Robert Landman had the following to say on the achievement:

"We are thrilled to again be recognised as a top firm within the region, demonstrating our expertise as a provider of high quality legal services. This is a great acknowledgement of the outstanding work done by our team here at Spencers, and reflects our ambition to become the UK's personal injury law firm of choice."


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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.

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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'.

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