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Reform Ready law firms can thrive – Minster Law CEO

Law firms can be successful and profitable after government reforms to personal injury are implemented in 2020, according to Shirley Woolham, CEO of Minster Law.

Speaking to 250 legal professionals at the 2019 PI Futures Conference in Manchester on 25 September, Shirley said that injury claims are complex, and customers will need help from experts, but law firms wanting to play in this market needed to be reform ready now.

“If you’re still talking about investing in digitisation, reducing your fixed cost base, changing your culture and investment priorities, or hoping the reforms will be delayed for a few months, then your future is a bleak one.”

She said that Minster Law, which announces its full year results shortly, had spent the last two years getting itself ready to compete in the post-reform world. “We’ve already tackled our fixed cost base, moving to a single HQ. We are debt free with funding available for further investments including significant and ongoing investment in IT.

“We have already invested in culture and diversifying our Executive team – drawing our expertise from a range of sectors and specialisms – so allowing us to make better, more informed decisions in a more balanced team, mindful how to take risks.

“We are excited by the opportunities presented by the reforms to help our customers navigate their way through a complex digital claims journey.”

But she warned those responsible for building the new LiP portal, which claimants will use to manage their own claim, that it will not be OK for the portal to simply ‘function’, but must be exceptional in respect of the user experience and journey to ensure it does not serve as a barrier to claimants who are time-poor or less confident in using online services.

She said “At Minster Law we want to share in the success of the new platform and deliver a great service to customers, but the government must ensure that customers’ interests must come first.”