Thursday, 26 April 2012

The First Time

I suspect that the first blog post on a new blog is the hardest to write. Do I just jump straight in? What do I talk about? Having given myself the big write up as being involved in fields as diverse as legal marketing and cricket equipment retailing, I can  at least say that I have a wide choice of topics to choose from.

So I suppose I can tell you that my posts will be mixed - there will be some cricket as that is my passion. There will be some thoughts on life in general but the main thrust will be all things legal and particularly my thoughts on what is going on in the legal world in 2012 and beyond. There will be a few bits about certain demons that I have personally had to battle too (no, don't get excited - I am not a mass murderer, reformed or otherwise).

It is the law though, civil stuff, that has got hold of me again. After selling my own RTA/PI practice in 2003, I vowed that that was it. I had had enough of all that and was going to concentrate on being a Dad, a husband and devoting myself to rather more selfless pursuits. I did too, particularly in the coaching of youngsters at sport. So I qualified as a cricket coach and coached cricket both in a school and at my local cricket club, taking one set of youngsters from being  pretty hopeless Under 9 year olds through to the same group becoming champions of Hertfordshire at the U14 age group.

I dabbled in other businesses too - set up with my wife, an on-line used, sometimes rare, book business because it sounded a nice, quaint thing to do and it is a nice, quaint thing to do. We still own that business Stortbooks and I still love going out into the converted stables where over 20,000 books are meticulously shelved and catalogued due to the efforts of Mrs Spin King. I always feel that the stables are somewhere I wouldn't mind being locked in and forgotten about by the rest of the world for a few months.

We bought a couple of properties too, one being our apartment in Cannes which we rent out at Fascinating place Cannes - type of place where walking past Roman Abramovich in a shopping mall, as has happened on a couple of occasions, seems somehow so natural (shameless name dropping).

It wasn't long though before I was actively involved in an Accident Management Company that I had bought into whilst I still owned Waring & Co, Impact Assist. I did leave and sell my share in the business but my attempt to get away again from the RTA/PI stuff still didn't work, and I find back working with the guys at Impact, doing some marketing and otherwise promoting them.

Then the natural progression has been to help out other firms and businesses in the accident compensation arena. My old friend Peter Scott, when I sold Waring & Co, said to me "You won't be able to get away from it you know - it's in your blood." Damn him, he was right - but why couldn't it have been the film industry or novel writing that was in my blood instead of dealing with people's accident claims!

So here I am, in 2012, with the industry about to face the biggest challenges it has ever seen over the coming 12 months and the bug has got to me more than ever. I've even got the old Practising Certificate back up and running (oh no, not Waring & Co MK II?)

What is it with this business vilified by so many that has got to me again? Well I suppose that it is the fact that it IS facing such challenges, that appeals. So whilst most in the industry are thinking of getting out as undamaged as possible, as soon as possible, muggins here, is looking to get stuck in again - well is already getting stuck in, helping and advising those like-minded individuals and practices who see this as a time of opportunity. We overcame the raising of the old arbitration limit from £500 to £1000, then to £5000 unless there was injury worth at least £1000 in the claim. We saw off the Champerty & Maintenance arguments relating to Credit Hire agreements in the early 90's and we battled successfully, from a claimants point of view again, to defeat the Consumer Credit Act challenges of the late 90's relating to both Credit Hire and Credit Repair agreements - and the present challenges that will be caused by the banning of referral fees  and the lowering of recoverable costs under the RTA portal, are there to be overcome as well, certainly for those that are ready to get stuck in and get their hands dirty ( and I don't mean in terms of 'dirty practice'). Openings will appear in the market - there will be casualties - both solicitors practices and AMC's, but for others windows of opportunity will open up. Somewhere ,you will find me stood at the top of a hill, with my flag, ready to stick it in the summit - I promise you.