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Today’s featured ‘marketing collective’, with an East Kilbride ‘operation’.
(See below * for latest regional faux pas on part of large ‘customer centric’ organisation…)
“First4lawyers – i.e. today’s featured injury lawyers, are a marketing collective that provide highly qualified personal injury, industrial disease and clinical negligence claimants to law firms.”
(Taken from First4lawyers solicitor panel online membership form)
As injury lawyers ourselves, we can’t really expect hurt and injured people to know the difference between a ‘marketing collective’ and a law firm. We certainly can’t bemoan the fact that such organisations exist and continue to thrive by driving a wedge between accident victims and personal injury solicitors.
The ‘marketing collectives’, or claims companies as they are more commonly known, spotted a gap in the market and they filled it so ‘fair play’ to them in the sense that they are commercial enterprises with an agenda to grow their business, which just happens to be selling accident claim information to the highest bidder.
…and that is where they idea of fair play – from the injured person’s perspective – starts and finishes, in our opinion.
Basically, hurt and injured people and their families are in effect being duped into thinking that they are dealing direct with solicitors when they are in fact dealing with sales organisations, viz. ‘marketing collectives’. At no point in any of the ubiquitous tv commercials do we see a prominent disclaimer that informs the viewer that these organisations are not, strictly speaking, independent firms of solicitors. The ads talk about ‘our lawyers’ but fail to explicitly state that ‘our lawyers’ are anything but, in the accepted sense of the word.
There is always the small print at the bottom of the ‘about us ‘page on these types of websites, wherein readers are informed that they will put in touch with a panel solicitor and that they can choose to select a different lawyer of their own choosing… but who ever reads THAT far?
Slight of hand, subterfuge, deliberate misinformation even? The problem for us is that the person least well qualified to assess the competence of a legal advisor – the injured party – is being manipulated into thinking that the advertiser – whatever the firm in question is – is the best qualified source of legal advice. Once the claimant has entrusted his or her claim to the ‘marketing collective’ they are no longer in control because the really important decision, viz. which lawyer to appoint, has been taken out of their hands.
Even this situation might not be too bad in every case as some ethical and competent law firms continue to source enquiries from these organisations, but in many cases the claimant’s file is sold to the highest available bidder regardless of that firm’s PI credentials. Thus the injured person is unlikely to receive the best advice despite the claims company’s spurious claim to the contrary.
…and finally, there is an East Kilbride twist*…
In an all too familiar fashion, typical of much claims company website waffle, First4 lawyers ‘helpfully’ include the following ‘useful’ contact information on their East Kilbride page:
East Kilbride City Chamber, City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow G2 1DU
There isn’t any such institution and if there was it wouldn’t be in Glasgow, but what do they care?