The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) continues to steer UK solitor firms to act in the best interests of their clients. For Personal Injury solicitors, what exactly does this mean?
Instruct with Care
Central to your clients' claims is the provision of a medicalo legal report. Instructing the most appropriate expert is the only way to ensure that this report is comprehensive and robust.
The SRA advises UK solicitor firms to act in their clients' best interests. In order to do this firms need to fully consider their clients' full range of needs.
Do you take the steps required to find a 'best fit' expert for your client?
When looking for suitable experts for your clients, do you, or the agency you use, take account of factors such as experts';
– languages spoken
– and more?
How do you Instruct Now?
Many firms who manage their own database of experts struggle to build and maintain a panel of expert witnesses that meets the ongoing needs of their UK-wide client base. Capturing and maintaining all relevant data and continuously having to find experts in new locations and of different disciplines is no mean feat.
With expert sourcing being a time-consuming and therefore costly process, firms who instruct directly often over-rely on a narrow database of known experts as opposed to ensuring the expert instructs meets all the criteria required by each client.
SRA Compliance Tip: Firms need to source and instruct 'best fit' medical experts that meet the specific needs of each client in order to comply with the SRAs Code of Conduct on Client Care.
If you currently instruct via an agency – do you feel that the agency is putting your clients first? Or do you suspect that their profits come first when considering who to instruct?
SRA Compliance Tip: The instructing party needs to sput the clients' needs first; Profits should not be a driving factor!
We can see that there are quality issues relating to the instruction of medicalo legal experts via commercial medico legal agencies as well as by firms' instructing directly.
So what is the answer?
Your own in-house Medico Legal Agency! Setting up a medical agency for your firm is the only way to legally earn profits on instructions. Firms who want optimum SRA compliance and a high standard of client care are there before setting up in-house agencies and using the profits generated to fund an in-house, top-notch expert sourcing service. By taking the time and effort to find 'best fit' experts for clients, solicitor firms are not only optimizing their chances of receiving a robust medical legal report but also demonstrating good practice and SRA compliance.
Myth Busting Time! Contrary to popular belief the SRA has no problem with UK firms running their own legal legal agency as long as it is set up complantly and acts in clients' best interests.
Setting up and running an in-house medicalo legal agency should not be cost or time consuming. As well as improving client care it has a direct impact on the quality of medical reports received. This in turn often has a direct impact in maximum compensation being received by clients.
In-house agencies = improved SRA compliance, legitimate profits, successful claims and happy clients !!
Sharona M Benjamin