PI Futures 2016 – Where next for the market?


9am          Registration


9.30am    Keynote address

David Hertzell, Chair, Insurance Fraud Taskforce

In January, the government-commissioned Insurance Fraud Taskforce reported its findings. In a wide-ranging review of the steps needed to step up the fight against insurance fraud – which highlighted the overall need to improve consumer trust in the insurance sector as its first recommendation – the taskforce said that “although the vast majority of claimant solicitors are honest and competent, fraudulent claims often require the involvement of a solicitor”, either deliberately or inadvertently through incompetence.

The taskforce made a series of important recommendations, and in this keynote speech, David Hertzell will update delegates on the progress made to date on implementing them.


10am        The reforms: Where are we now?                       

Martin Coyne, Director, Access to Justice

Brett Dixon, Vice-President, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Stephen Webber, Chairman, Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers

Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, BLM

By the time of the conference, the direction of travel in the reform process should be clear. Is this a steamroller or can the claimant market effect change? Our panel will outline how they see the reform process and where there are opportunities to lobby for amendments, and how best to go about this.


11am         Break


11.30am   “If I were a claimant lawyer….”

Ian Davies, Partner, Kennedys

Sometimes we can learn the most from our opponents. As someone who has been on the other side of claims, Ian Davies will outline the common mistakes they sees claimant lawyers making, and also explain how defendant lawyers have learned to work under fixed fees.


11.50am   Thriving in a fixed-fee world

Neil Hudgell, Managing Director, Hudgells Solicitors

Whatever direction reform takes, it seems inevitable that fixed fees will become increasingly dominant. Neil Hudgell, who has led his firm through a significant growth phase while others have pulled in their horns, will explain his approach to making fixed fees work.


12.10pm    WIP sales             

Lesley Graves, Managing Director, Citadel Law

The uncertain market is likely only to see more firms try to exit the market and sell their WIP, or acquire/be acquired. But there are significant dangers lurking for the unwary, in particular the SRA’s new approach to confidentiality that argues it should not be necessary to allow access to files to complete a deal. File audit specialist Lesley Graves explains all.


12.30pm   The PI solutions providers

Some of the key providers of solutions to the market explain what they can do to help PI lawyers.


1pm          Lunch


2pm         The regulator’s view

Richard Collins, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, Solicitors Regulation Authority

The demands of regulation are never far from the thoughts of PI lawyers, and Richard Collins will outline the findings of the SRA’s thematic review of personal injury, and highlight the key issues it is focusing on. He will also talk about other initiatives, such as the slimmed-down Code of Conduct.


2.30pm    Marketing masterclass

Andy Cullwick, Head of Marketing, First4Lawyers

Duncan Watts, Industry Manager, Google

Jonathan Winchester, Chief Executive, Shoppers Anonymous UK

There is so much happening in the world of marketing, particularly online, and in this session we will look at the key issues you need to address. From social media, ad blocking and app development, to presenting your firm correctly and aligning your customers with your brand, there is a lot to consider.


3.30pm   Break


4pm        The future of PI practice

Roger Coleman, Partner and Integration Director, Simpson Millar

Karen Jackson, Chief Executive, Roberts Jackson

Patrick Allen, Senior Partner, Hodge Jones & Allen

James Maxey, Managing Partner, Express Solicitors

Having outlined the many issues facing personal injury practice, this closing plenary debate will look at the future. What will the market look like in five years’ time? What business structure is right for you? Should you merger, seek external investment or even become part of a listed company? What does it mean for individual lawyers and other members of staff? An expert panel representing some of the most innovative responses seen to date will give their views in what promises to be a lively and opinionated close to the conference.


5pm       Close