Retainers and Client Costs Disputes
Many firms are concerned about their retainers, particularly following the case of Herbert v HH Law Ltd EWCA Civ 527.
There are businesses which are advertising to clients encouraging them to bring actions to recover success fees and other deductions from damages. I can review your client care letters and other retainer documents and, if necessary, redraft these to ensure that you are protected.
Contact me for details.
QPI and Freelancers
I have worked with QPI Legal for nearly 20 years. They are insurance brokers and leading experts in the field of Professional Indemnity Insurance. They are always my 'go to' brokers when I am advising firms on insurance matters.
Since November 2019 it has been possible for individual solicitors to set up as Freelancers. One hurdle has been the need for ‘adequate and appropriate indemnity insurance’. This has proved hard to find. Indeed, one umbrella network announced last month that it had been unable to get off the ground because of this issue.
I work closely with Gillian Anderson at QPI. Gillian has identified an insurer which is willing to issue policies to freelancers. If you are interested in finding out more please contact me.
Having been trained by Steve on a dental negligence course, I would highly recommend him. He was able to trike the very difficult balance of providing in depth technical knowledge and keeping us entertained. Superb. Mark Quinn, Taylor Rose
Steve is my 'go to' blogger for legal advice & opinion. Love to hear his view\take on things. His love for justice always shines through & he always adds a bit of humour too. I try to ignore the fact that he is a blue Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters
We have worked with Steve over the last year, with particular regard to our medical negligence department. Steve has produced very useful and informative sessions at both ends of the experience curve. Whether it is specific training for new entrants to the clinical negligence world or advanced training for our experienced practitioners, we have found Steve’s sessions to achieve the desired outcome. Steve is able to tailor his training and approach to fit the audience that he is speaking to and the feedback to his sessions, at all levels, has been overwhelmingly positive - Stephen Threlfall, Fletchers Solicitors
I've known Steve for almost a decade due to his involvement with Liverpool Law Society - he was President 2011/12. Steve was able to identify gaps in our education programme and provide training events in his area of legal expertise and as a keen blogger he has also provided events about the effective use of social media. Steve provides good, clear information and has a clear and concise delivery - feedback from our delegates has been very good. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Steve and will confidently continue to include him in our training programme – Jo Downey, Director of Education and Training, Liverpool Law Society
I have known Steve all my working life. He is passionate about the law which is evidenced in his presence on social media. I always turn to Steve’s tweets/blogs /posts for a compassionate, fair and balanced view on emerging topical legal issues. On a personal level, he is approachable and always willing to support his co- professionals and the legal profession as a whole Emma Carey, Managing Partner, MSB Solicitors
I consulted Steve regarding a merger . He was excellent throughout . Thorough and diligent . He conducted negotiations from start to finish and was trusted and respected by both sides His knowledge and experience is vast and his advice and guidance was always available and greatly appreciated .He brought about what could have been a difficult exercise with the ease and firmness of a true professional .All aspects were completed speedily diligently and to my complete satisfaction. He is a lovely man to deal with – straightforward, honest wise - and his fees are very reasonable ! I would not hesitate to recommend him - Leslie Cheeseman, Cheeseman and Co, Solicitors
I have worked with Steve for over 15 years in relation to Solicitors Indemnity Insurance - both in relation to renewal and new start-ups. He has an in depth knowledge of the requirements of insurers and the SRA. He also has many years experience in the management of risk - Phil Edwards, QPI Legal
I have known and worked with Steve for many years. He has an excellent grasp of the issues affecting the profession, and a track record of responding to and dealing with these. He’s also very good company – and a great source of information, both personally and through his superb blogs which demonstrate the depth of his knowledge in many areas Alison Lobb - Managing Partner, Morecrofts Solicitors
Steve and I originate from the same part of the country and have a number of things in common – university, law college and football club! We also share determination and a sense of justice. Steve is the paragon of a committed claimant litigation lawyer who has worked tirelessly, in and out of the office, to promote and defend the interests of injured people. Acknowledged as one of Liverpool’s leading lawyers, a great blogger and a kind, principled man – Steve will no doubt continue to help those he can and be a role model for aspiring young lawyers – Michael Williamson, Williamsons Solicitors
I initially knew of Steve through his exceptional reputation within the legal and wider business community across the North West and was aware he had previously been President of the Liverpool Law Society and Senior Partner of a highly regarded legal firm. However I have gotten to know Steve personally in recent years and can say that his down to earth, approachable manner, sense of humour, integrity, intelligence and not forgetting his great photography skills coupled with experience, skills and those personal qualities make me have no hesitation in recommending Steve. I do this knowing that in a crowded market Steve stands out David Wafer, McIver Scott Recruiting
I have known Steve throughout the whole of my legal career and although we have never worked for the same firm he has been generous with his support and time. He has vast experience in a wide range of civil litigation work and is known for his tenacity in seeking justice for his clients Chris Topping – Partner, Broudie Jackson Canter and President Liverpool Law Society
Steve’s talent for management and strategic planning was a great boost to the Liverpool Law Society when he was an officer, and he has always been and remains supportive and I value his advice in carrying out my role now. He is an expert in law firm risk and management and has graciously shared that vast knowledge at conferences and more informal events. On top of all that , he is a genuinely nice guy and always a pleasure to work with Nina Ferris, Hill Dickinson and Immediate Past President, Liverpool Law Society
I would recommend Steve as a knowledgeable lawyer who is able to deal compassionately and sympathetically with clients and colleagues. He has a pragmatic and calm approach to practice management Karen Hosker, HOFA, EAD Solicitors LLP
Steve is a technically gifted lawyer with a most comprehensive command of a notoriously complex subject matter. I would not hesitate to recommend him Paul Currie, Partner and Head of Industrial Disease, EAD Solicitors
Associates - Bathgate Business Finance
I am delighted to announce my association with Bathgate Business Finance who specialise in providing finance to support the growth of legal firms. In particular they can source short term facilities to ease cash flow burdens when tax and VAT liabilities come around. I remember from my days in practice that January was always an interesting time when many of these buses came at once! They are very familiar with the management of law firms and are quite able to tailor solutions to your particular needs. And they also have a great team who are happy to meet over coffee to talk about what you need and what they can offer.
You can see contact them via their website at https://bathgatebf.co.uk/
Or if you have a any particular funding concerns you can speak to me and I will out you in touch.
Social Media Training and Management 2020
I have given training on Social Media for Lawyers over the last 2 years - including a presentation at the 2018 APIL national conference.
My half day course covers -
Since I began working for myself I have begun to use LinkedIn more than any other platform as my focus has shifted to B - B! It has now become my main source of work alongside personal recommendation. The continuing development of Facebook data has now made this a very cost effective platform for targetted business marketing. It is all about sharing stories which reach out to potential clients.
The training covers most social media platforms, which is likely to be the most effective for your business and how to make the best of what is available. I can do this on a group basis or one to one if preferred.
The course is £425.00
I am also now managing Social Media accounts for small to medium firms and also running facebook campaigns.
Depending on the size of the business this can cost as little as £300 a month.
I love talking about social media! Contact me for details...
Working with Cook Legal Ltd - the Costs Experts
I am pleased to announce that I am now working in association with Cook Legal Ltd. they provide a full costs management service that includes drafting, advovacy and negotiation. They will also provide budgets, where required. his includes the monitoring of begetted costs and help with applications to amend. Above all, Rob and Michael are nice guys who are down to earth and easy to talk to.
They recently worked with Merseyside Firm, Higgins and Co in the landmark case of Higgins & Co v Evans in which the High Court ruled that, what is known as the, death clause in the Law Society's standard CFA is enforceable. Full details are here -
They are experts in all aspects of legal costs and particularly in relation to retainers.
Their website is https://www.cook-legal.co.uk/
Or you can speak to me if you have any questions...
Association - Complete Mediation
I have been a fan of mediation for over 20 years. My first mediated case was a very difficult Professional Negligence case where the Solicitors' failings were admitted but there was a real battle over whether they had caused any loss. The client agreed to mediate. We just fell short of settling on the day but the case was finally resolved within days. The very few cases that have not resolved are a rare exception.
I am delighted therefore to be associated with Complete Mediation. I have known some of their team for many years. They combine professionalism and experience with real pragmatism.
Practice Director, Claire Labio says -
'Complete Mediation offers a cost effective alternative to the normal legal process. We assist local businesses, insurers and lawyers to achieve settlement in approximately 95% of cases. Mediation is particularly useful if you are looking to resolve an issue as soon as possible as opposed to a lengthy County Court process. It can also help to maintain any future working relationships and keep costs down. The benefits of Mediation are becoming recognised more and more across the business and legal communities. Complete Mediation makes the process as stress free as possible and has an excellent success rate.’
If you are interested in mediating a dispute, you can contact them on Support@completemediation.co.
Or you can can contact me and i will put you in touch with them.
Associates - McIver Scott Recruitment
I have often been approached by lawyers who are looking for a new challenge and have been able to place them with firms who are looking to recruit. I have also worked with law firms who are looking for new talent. In order to offer the best possible help, I am now working in association with McIver Scott. They are a multi award winning recruitment company headed by well known Liverpool business leader, David Wafer. If you have any recruitmrnt needs please contact me for a discussion.
Bluebird Support Services Ltd
I have a confession. I simply cannot type the words ‘solcitor’ or ‘clinet’. It is a condition that I have battled for years but without success. It is the price I pay for producing my own documents. Most of the time I manage to get by because I no longer produce long formal documents. Which brings me to the last, but not least, of the businesses with whom I am I working in association. I have known Jayne Smith of Bluebird Support Services for over 10 years.
Jayne’s team once carried me through 10 months of secretarial maternity leave! If Jayne was ever on Mastermind, her chosen subject would be … Word documents! For outsourced secretarial support there is nobody better. But there is more to Bluebird than document production. Their detailed knowledge of legal technology and processes enables them to identify improvements that can increase efficiency and improve profitability.
You can contact them at https://www.bluebird.services/
Or you can speak to me and I can put you in touch.
Clinical Negligence Screening and Support
Screening of Clinical Negligence Cases is extremely important. I offer the following options at different stages of a case.
This is all about accepting or rejecting cases at the start. I will review initial instructions and provide a preliminary view on merits including limitation and any advice given by previous solicitors. I have handled hundreds of cases over the years and can often identify whether a matter should be taken on. I will also summarise the issues and what steps are required to investigate. In most cases a light investigation will suffice. In others it might be clear that a full investigation should begin right away.
Cost – for a free-standing screening £50, but I am happy to agree a fixed fee for looking at larger numbers. The fee is only payable in cases where I recommend acceptance.
This will follow the initial medical report. It will include advice on merits, quantum and any further evidence. This can also include a risk assessment for CFA purposes.
Cost - as above but reduced by 50% if I have previously done a Stage 1 screening.
Full support package
I also offer consultancy support throughout the life of case to include the above screening and then further assistaance at key stages including
1. Drafting and reviewing letters of claim,
2. Considering responses from NHS resolution,
3. Settlement offers,
4.Issue of proceedings and review of pleadings, directions etc.
This will include assistance by email, telephone as required as the matter progress
For this full package I am happy to work on the basis of an initial payment of £50 and then 10% of your base costs payable at the conclusion of a successful case only.
I am also happy to mix and match the above if preferred.
Please see the Training and Consultancy section for details of my training courses
President Liverpool Law Society 2012
Higher Courts Advocate (Civil) 2002
Fellow Emeritus - APIL 2017
Senior Partner - EAD Solicitors LLP - 2011 - 2017