Year 2, week 19: hook, line and sinker

Just got back from a hectic two day trial up in Manchester last night. It was the first case I’d had which lasted over a day and I was delighted to see that my brief fee rose from my usual £200 or so to a tasty £2,000 on the first day and with a £1,000 refresher the next day. Oh, and I decided at the last minute to do it on a conditional fee agreement since it was a car case which seemed an absolute cert and yet would give me a guaranteed one hundred per cent uplift. All because the insurers had ridiculously dug their heels in for no apparent reason. Well, no reason which they gave anyway. All in, it was a rear end shunt worth £1,500 where the insurers had suggested that my client had contrived the accident but unfortunately for them without a shred of evidence. Almost in a sulk at their lack of success they refused to give any instructions to settle and instead insisted on their barrister cross-examining my client at ridiculous length as to his finances and his general situation in life.

By the end of the first day the judge was getting ever so slightly irritated by the droning on of my poor opponent and eventually brought the evidence to a close. Come submissions, he only asked to hear from my opponent before giving the briefest of judgments in my favour.

All in all, I must have been on my feet about ten minutes for which I earned a total of £6,000 after the uplift was taken into account. With the smell of money still fresh from the case I rang my solicitor only to be told,
“Well done BabyB. Nice little earner for all of us. It’s getting easier by the day to make insurers think even the most honest of cases is dodgy.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Oh come on. Surely you know the routine by now?”
I didn’t.
“It’s so easy BabyB. You just throw out a teeny weeny inconsistency early on and they fall for it every time. First they start alleging fraud and then go on to make it into some huge and most importantly expensive trial only to be confronted by a nice upstanding member of the community when they get to court. Hook, line and sinker.”

Oh.

February 7, 2008 · Tim Kevan · 5 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

5 Responses

  1. Abigail - February 8, 2008

    Normally I find this blog highly amusing. An everyday story of legal folk. But this I find completely and utterly disgusting.

  2. Uncivil Serpent - February 8, 2008

    Welcome to the world of rampant Capitalism, where disgust (by the way) is at no added extra cost.

  3. marcelproust - February 13, 2008

    Don’t worry Abigail. It isn’t true.

  4. Don Caster - February 13, 2008

    I have come to the early conclusion, that most lawyers are more ‘crooked’ thatn the people in the dock.

  5. tamsin - February 14, 2008

    Insurers wriggling out of their commitments on the basis of a tiny inconsistency or an anonymous tip-off would deserve anyway to be taken for a fall.