Today is the first day of our 14th year. On 1 November 2000, I fulfilled my long term ambition to practice on my own.
They have been exciting times. I am extremely pleased that during my complete 13 years, nearly 10 young people have passed through my practice and I have trained 5 as solicitors. They are all impressive characters and I am delighted that each of them are doing extremely well in the legal sector.
During the 13 years we have dealt with nearly 1,300 files, both representing the insurance industry and also claimants throughout England and Wales.
In those 13 years we have:-
- Served over 1300 clients.
- Recovered over £1.5m in damages for clients.
- Served over 400 injured clients abandoned by other law firms.
- Continued to receive instructions direct from the public.
Whilst 1 April 2013 saw the reduced ability for lawyers to recover fees and whilst we have been lucky enough to practice during the time of the golden years for personal injury lawyers, we have maintained our chore values of sourcing work direct from members of the public.
Our chore philosophy is always to act in the interest of the clients. When the No-Win-No-Fee Agreement was brought in there were serious concerns by a number of us that this would bring into conflict a lawyers own personal gain and interest of the client as lawyers will only be paid if the claim is successful.
In my opinion, and having inherited over 400 files from other law firms during that period, I am convinced that there is evidence that this conflict has not always served the public.
I was also one of the very few claimants’ solicitors who was against removal of the ban on referral fee by the Law Society. I am delighted that at long last toward the end of our 13th year, the Government had sought it fit to ban referral fees.
Personal injury was not a fashionable area of law when I entered the profession in the mid 80’s, but became so in the 90’s. In my view with the introduction of claims management companies and referral fee, it has taken the personal injury field back to what it was in the 70’s.
In December 2012, it was sad for us to have moved out of The London Fruit Exchange, a building which we loved.
In our 14th year we aim to continue despite all the changes in personal injury funding, to serve you the dear readers.
A long time ago I was taught at law school that the difference between my profession and others was the central important focal point that clients interest are of paramount importance and they should always be our aim above that of a lawyer.
That remains our core philosophy.
We have made moved into The Mallon Room, Toynbee Hall, which is only a stones throw away from The Fruit Exchange, and we continue to serve people who have been wronged either by institutions or others in many parts of England and Wales.
If you have any legal issues which you wish to talk about, we are always happy to take your calls without any obligation. If we are unable to assist you we can always refer you to someone who will.
If you do have such issues, please do not hesitate to contact me, Abdul Hafezi, on 0207 377 0600.
A A Hafezi
1 November 2013