A leading claims management company (CMC) has launched what is believed to be the first ever CMC partnership with a set of chambers.
First4Lawyers’ agreement with Exchange Chambers, based in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, will give law firms on its panel access to advice from counsel when screening difficult clinical negligence cases.
Exchange Chambers will also usually be the first port of call for panel firms seeking advocates. Led by Bill Braithwaite QC, the clinical negligence team has four other silks, supported by over 20 juniors.
The marketing collective is in the process of growing its panel of specialist clinical negligence law firms and also has plans to create the first TV advertisement dedicated to this area of law.
“The number of clinical negligence claims is rising fast, meaning an increasing number of CMCs are looking to muscle into an area they know little about,” said Chris Rodgers, head of business development at First4Lawyers.
“This is a dangerous trend. There is an urgent need for ethical companies like First4Lawyers to show they have the confidence of the legal profession and ensure that potential claimants get the best possible advice from the start.
“In our view, augmenting our panel of expert solicitors with some of the best clinical negligence barristers in the country should achieve both of those goals.”
Tom Handley, director of chambers at Exchange Chambers, said his team had extensive experience acting for claimants in complex, high-value clinical negligence matters and was “well placed to work with the law firms on the panel”.
Earlier this year, First4Lawyers – whose high-profile advertisements are fronted by former tennis star and TV presenter Andrew Castle – opened its panel for the first time.