New associate solicitor Rizwan Mughal shares his experience as a new starter during lock down
Minster Law’s newest associate solicitor Rizwan Mughal joined the team only 3 weeks before the entire country went into lockdown.
While it’s been a less than conventional start, he is hard at work helping our clients, so we asked him to take a quick break and answer a few questions to get to know him a little bit better.
What has your experience been like of moving companies during a national lockdown?
I’ve got nothing to compare it with, but I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Minster’s handling of the developing situation.
I was lucky in that I had around 3 weeks in the office before lockdown.
The Serious Injury team in particular were already equipped to work remotely, and in all fairness not much has changed, it’s business as usual.
As an outsider looking in, Minster’s investment in technology has paid dividends as we have been far better prepared than other law firms, and work has continued relatively seamlessly.
I was slightly worried at the outset having come to Minster during this period of uncertainty, but I’m very proud of the way the firm have treated their staff throughout the pandemic.
How are you finding life at Minster so far?
I haven’t looked back, I’m enjoying every aspect of it so far. The team are great and have been very welcoming from day one.
I’m very excited to be involved in the firm’s future growth plans.
Why did you make the move?
At the time I was working in Manchester, commuting four or five days a week on the train .
The unreliable commutes were having an impact on my home life, as I had a toddler at home and we had another baby on the way, so I was looking for somewhere closer to home, for a better work/life balance.
I immediately got a good vibe from Minster – the culture, the vision, and the people, were exactly what I was looking for. Minster’s CSR initiatives were an added bonus, and something which I personally wanted to ensure I dedicated more time to in my next role.
How did your life as a solicitor start?
I had this naïve notion that I wanted to be a lawyer so I could put criminals away! I was intrigued by criminal justice and having done a couple of criminal law related modules on my Forensic Science undergraduate course, I decided that I wanted to pursue a legal career, so I swapped my lab coat for a suit.
I started off working as a paralegal in a small high street practice in Leeds. After completing my conversion course, the firm paid for my Legal Practice Course (LPC), which I studied part-time whilst working full-time, and fortunately, they were also able to offer me a training contract as soon as I passed my LPC.
At the time, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) ran a part-time study contract, which meant that my practical work experience counted towards my training, so my training contract was completed in just over a year, rather than the usual two years. I qualified in September 2013.
What has your career journey been like since then?
When I qualified, I moved to Birmingham to work in the sports liability team of DAC Beachcroft. I worked on some unique cases, representing sports governing bodies, football clubs, rugby clubs, martial arts clubs, and various motorsport clubs.
I then transferred to the firm’s Leeds office in 2016, where I defended multi-track employers’ liability and public liability claims on behalf of a major insurer and the NHS. In 2018 I moved to the Catastrophic Injury team at Clyde & Co defending high value complex claims on behalf of major insurers.
My work has been really diverse and has included complex liability investigations, occupational stress claims, occupiers’ liability, and product liability claims, in addition to the more common motor, employer’s liability and public liability claims. I have attended many site visits, hearings, trials, and coroners’ inquests.
What prompted the switch from Defendant to Claimant?
I wasn’t getting excited about defending claims anymore, and I couldn’t really see any tangible results for all the hard work I was putting in. I believed that representing claimants who have suffered life-changing injuries was going to be far more rewarding than saving insurers money.
The associate role in particular had the added benefit of managing my own team, so I could play a more active role in developing junior lawyers and driving team performance.
How does that impact the way you work on Claimant cases?
I still look at cases now with my defendant hat on, which I believe provides my clients with added value when it comes to advising them on strategy. I’m familiar with the way insurers and Defendant firms deal with certain types of cases, and how they set their reserves, which can be a useful tool when it comes case management and settlement tactics.
Rizwan is one of the 15 associate solicitors in Minster Law’s serious injury department. If you or a loved one has been in an accident that has resulted in a serious injury, contact us today on 01904 663 229 and find out how we can help support your future.