How Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport Manage Online Marketing

This week as part of my series of interviews that I plan to publish with accident claims advice specialists and personal injury solicitors I caught up with the team who are making waves in the personal injury world in Greater Manchester… Stockport to be precise.

You can see a recent interview I conducted with Hugh Rollinson where he spoke about how he was trying to change the conceptions of companies operating in the personal injury niche, and he touched on his online marketing efforts.  In this interview I wanted to get a different angle on the whole aspect of digital marketing strategies that lawyers and solicitors are embarking upon.  I caught up with Jason Trent to discuss with him in more detail some of the initiatives he is doing at the moment in what is a traditionally very competitive market.

Hi Jason, could you give some detail on what your background is within the world of personal injury and marketing?

Thanks Jarred.  Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport is the main project I am working on at the moment, but actually am quite heavily involved with some large legal firms around the UK helping them to generate leads and more business.  I started out in online marketing after the Stockport College, firstly in web design them moving on more towards the marketing side.

One of my first ever web design clients was a personal injury solicitor based in Stockport.  To cut a long story a lot shorter, we started to look at ways of attracting more customers do his door. We started doing video marketing, paid search, and all forms of different online marketing tactics.  The results were fantastic.

Because of this experience I started to specialise in working with lawyers, accident claims companies, and personal injury solicitors.  I carved out a little niche for myself in Greater Manchester and since then have picked up more and more clients off the back of the work I’ve got in my portfolio.  Not really looked back!

So for Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport, what new types of strategies have you been trialling in order to help them out?

First and foremost it’s about getting the website looking right.  In the personal injury field you need to engender trust.  If you look trustworthy then you’ve already got a head start.  Because of that I spent a lot of time looking at the Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport website, testing placements of phone numbers, content, and even re-jigging the colour palette.

Personal Injury Stockport Website

Just by changing colours there was an increase in phone calls.

I found that these subtle little changes could have an amazing impact in the results you get – the amount of enquiries suddenly increased and meant our Stockport personal injury solicitors were suddenly a lot busier than normal! It’s a results-based industry and that’s the bottom line.

That’s amazing that colour changes can have such a difference!  Any other tips and hints about other strategies that you’ve tried off the website to generate more business?

OK so this is a bit of a trade secret and I don’t want to give too much away, but social media has proven to be exceptional this year.  We ran a competition on one of the major networks in order to promote our no win no fee services in Stockport.  We were able to use very targeted advertising methods on Facebook to identify people in the Stockport area who might need the services of a no win no fee solicitor.

I can’t say much more than that as it will give away too much, but the results were quite amazing in terms of how many people ended up visiting our Stockport no win no fee solicitors page.  I definitely recommend lawyers and personal injury solicitors look at Facebook marketing – it’s amazing what you can do nowadays.

Would you say that it’s a fair comment that those in the legal profession and in particular solicitors and lawyers don’t always tend to value how online can support their business?

I completely agree. When I first started out I sent a video out to about 20 personal injury solicitors in my locality showing them the results I could get them.  It was almost like I was offering them a money tree.  Guess how many replies I got? That’s right a fat zero.

Don’t ask me why, but solicitors in general do seem to be suspicious of online marketing.  I would say that personal injury solicitors are slightly different though, because the personal injury industry is traditionally based on lead type marketing so they tend to get it.  That’s why it’s so refreshing to be partnered and working with Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport because they know it works, and let me get on with it.

So for any personal injury lawyers in the UK what would be your most basic advice on how they can make more business online?

First and foremost as I referred to earlier it’s about the website.  If it doesn’t convert then it’s useless, no matter what your Google rankings.  Personal Injury Solicitors Stockport isn’t number one on Google, but it almost doesn’t matter because it converts so well.  Sort the website out.  Get that right first.

Also, these days people really do expect local businesses to be on the main social networks such as Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter. They expect to be able to have a quick and informal discussion with a business online before engaging with them properly.  That also reminds me – Google Places for Business.  This should be right at the top of any personal injury lawyer’s digital marketing strategy, especially due to the growth of mobile browsing where these types of results tend to have precedence.

Thanks for your time Jason.  Finally is there anything that you would like to tell my readers about any forthcoming plans?

Only to keep an eye on the Stockport personal injury lawyer site.  I think for other people in the industry it’s a great example of how to get it working online.  I update the blog on there quite regularly too with new announcements.

I am also in the process of developing a new website which contains tutorials on it for lawyers and solicitors wanting to harness the Internet better.  That’s currently under development so perhaps we can have another interview when I go live with that?

Note from Editor: Of course, I would love to!  If you are interested in becoming a personal injury solicitor then please read this guide I wrote a few months ago.

Madonna Suffers Whiplash Personal Injury Following Brits Fall

I must admit I did chuckle slightly when I saw this in the news recently!  I originally intended to place this blog ojn a personal injury website that my friend runs but decided it would be better placed on Creoscitex. If you were watching the Brit Awards you will have seen Madonna falling – in other circumstances this could have been a great opportunity to employ the services of a personal injury solicitor.  I will let you decide for yourself after you watch the video footage courtesy of YouTube.

Madonna Suffers Personal Injury – Potential Whiplash Claim!

Madonna has revealed that she suffered whiplash following her rather high profile fall at the Brit Awards last month.

The Queen of Pop fell while performing her song “Living For Love” on stage at the lavish awards ceremony. Madonna was pulled by her cape by one of her dancers, causing her to fall backwards and bang her head.

The pop star, who was dressed as a matador for her performance, was supposed to remove the cape before it was whipped off. A blunder meant that Madonna did not have time to release the strap – the Armani cape had been put on tighter than previous rehearsals because choreographers did not want the heavy cape to fall off prior to when it was due to be removed.

Madonna revealed on the Jonathan Ross show that she hit her head and had minor injuries as a result of her fall as well as whiplash. The A-list star was under medical supervision until 3am to ensure that there was no lasting damage or serious injury. Despite finishing her performance, following the fall Madonna appeared to be groggy leading to speculation that she was suffering a minor concussion when finishing the song.

The tumble on stage, which became an online viral sensation, was denied to be a publicity stunt by the singer.

Madonna’s Whiplash

The injuries sustained by Madonna are not uncommon. Whiplash is most common in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions, and is caused by a jerking or sudden movement of the head and neck.

Whiplash can take more than 12 hours to show symptoms following an accident but can severely limit the movement of the head and neck, and can cause trouble when sleeping. Madonna revealed that she thought she had evaded injury on the night of the Brits after she had been given the clear regarding concussion, but woke up suffering from whiplash the next day.

Effects of Whiplash

As mentioned above, whiplash is caused by a sudden, uncontrolled movement of the head and can occur in almost any incident. Whilst many in the media belittle whiplash due to the fact that it is one of the most common injuries to be fraudulently claimed for, we understand that whiplash is a serious injury that can cause lasting problems and extreme discomfort to sufferers.

Whiplash is caused by damage or bruising to the tendons or the ligaments in the neck, and can lead to restricted movement, neck pain, headaches and general stiffness. Sadly, whiplash symptoms can escalate days after the event.

Failure to treat whiplash can lead to complications and a longer recovery time. Some whiplash injuries can take up to six months to fully recover from, with such prolonged pain restricting your daily life, employment and general wellbeing.

The Cause Of Whiplash

You don’t need to fall in front of millions of people on television to suffer from whiplash – it is one of the most common injuries seen in the UK, with road traffic accidents being the most common cause of whiplash. Whiplash is also common after suffering a blow to the head, receiving a head knock when playing sport or a slip trip or fall in the workplace or public.

We believe that if you have suffered from whiplash in an accident that was not your fault, you should get the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.

How Do You Make A Personal Injury Claim

If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault and suffer whiplash, you may be able to make a compensation claim. In order to build as strong a case as possible, it is important that you are open and honest with our team of personal injury solicitors. We may require a medical report, or for you to get a medical examination. Not only will this allow you peace of mind but will show that your claim is genuine. We may also require contact details of any witnesses to the accident to back up your claim, insurance details and what led to the accident.

The more information you can provide to our team, the greater chance they have of securing you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for suffering your whiplash injuries.

For more blog posts about personal injury and accident claims advice please browse the website.

How the Accident Claims Advice Web Are Trying to Change Industry Conceptions

Hugh Rollinson

Hugh Rollinson and I recently met up in Zurich.

I still have many contacts in the legal industry back in the United Kingdom from my time working in personal injury, one of whom set up a new website called the Accident Claims Web.  Hugh Rollinson is a name that a lot of people will be familiar with in the accident claims advice and personal injury world due to an impressive and notorious keynote speech he once gave at an industry conference – that story is probably best for another time though!

Hugh was recently in Zurich ( at the Widder Bar – check it out) and we met up for a beer where he told me where his new website is heading and how he is looking to change the pre-conceptions that the personal injury industry has in some quarters.  What follows is some short and abridged versions of the conversations we had when we met up as unfortunately the recording on my iPhone became corrupted.

Hey Hugh, it’s been a while, and thanks for letting me publish your thoughts out on the creoscitex.com website.  I am sure it will be really valuable for my readers! Before get too deep in though, are you able to give a quick overview of what you are doing at the moment with your latest project?

Accident Claims Advice Web Logo

Logo of the Accident Claims Web

By all means, and thanks for having me James.  It’s great to see you and what a beautiful city Zurich is! So I’ve recently started up a new website which offers independent specialist injury and accident claims advice for UK residents and workers.  I say independent because we are not tied into any one of the large UK accident claims management companies, but instead work with personal injury solicitors from different law firms around the UK.  We literally do cover from Lands’ End to John O’Groats!

I started the website up around 6 months ago after seeing what appeared to be a gap in the market.  There are so many firms out there chasing down personal injury claims through the online medium, but so many of them don’t truly seem to understand the online market, and most of all how to harness it.

Sounds interesting, I’ve always found that UK lawyers and solicitors as a general rule of thumb, don’t always seem to really get what type of returns you can get from a specialist online marketing strategy. Can you give me a bit more detail on that or perhaps some trade secrets on how you generate enquiries into your accident claims advice website?

Well I can’t give you or your readers the keys to the kingdom for obvious reasons, but what I will say is this.  There are literally hundreds of people searching online every day in the UK for accident claims advice.  It doesn’t take a lot of research to find out how many different niches of personal injury there are, and when you tie those into local searches the opportunities really are endless.

Our strategy has been to generate enough quality online content about the various different types of accident claim so that we benefit from a real wide net when it comes to finding new clients and helping them with a personal injury claim.  It’s not my aim to be number one on Google for certain keywords because I know that our website actually performs well when you add up all the other types of accident claims searches that are happening every day.

Because we work with so many different accident claims solicitors, I know that we can support any victim of injury, no matter what type of accident or injury they suffered, or the circumstances around the accident.  That sets us apart from many other accident claims helplines and advice websites as many of them tend to specialise in a specific geographic location or in a particular personal injury niche.  We have a national reach and our lawyers are based all over the UK meaning we can offer accident advice to anyone, anywhere.

Sounds impressive! So what happens when someone calls you up looking for accident claims advice?  What’s the process involved from start to finish?

Well firstly, we have a Freephone telephone number meaning anybody can call us no matter what their financial circumstances, which is also why our accident claims advice solicitors all work on a no win no fee agreement – we want our clients to have access to the justice system no matter who they are or how much money they have. It should never be a barrier to using the services of a solicitor or lawyer.

When someone calls us, they will be put through to an accident claims advice specialist.  Our call centre has some of the most experienced and well trained staff in the UK who have all been working in the industry for a number of years.  We know how tough it can be if you’ve been involved in an accident and want to put people at ease first and foremost.

Our accident claims specialists will ask a few simple questions which will let them make a decision on whether or not there is a personal injury claim to be made.  If they believe that there is we will then pass the client over to one of our partner personal injury solicitors, as local to the client as is possible.  From that point, the relationship is then out of our hands, but we only work with the very best accident claims solicitors and always get feedback from clients to see how their compensation case was handled where we can.  This lets us improve constantly.

So what plans do you have for the Accident Claims Web in 2015?  I can already see that it’s a very large website with hundreds of pages and articles.  Will this be expanding at all?

Definitely.  We’ve recently partnered up with some new personal injury solicitors in the UK who are specialists in work accident claims.  Because of that we can help people to claim for an accident that happened at work – which can be one of the most stressful types of claim we deal with due to the victim and employer relationships.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve asked my online marketing team to really try to push and develop the pages we have about accident at work claims.  I try to recruit people with the latest qualifications and skills if possible, and send them on as many online marketing courses as possible on websites such as Udemy.

I really happy with the results and hope that this should generate some great additional business for us, with of course the ultimate aim of being to help as many people in the UK as possible to claim for personal injury compensation.

Whilst it’s not completed yet, our programmers have nearly completed an accident at work compensation calculator for us to feature on the site.  This will let people plumb in their personal details and get an estimate off the back of it on what they work compensation claim could be worth.  I am really excited about this and can’t wait for it to go live!

Work Accident Claims Calculator

Coming soon… a work accident claims compensation calculator.

Hopefully it will result in us being able to process more and more workplace accident claims but will have to wait and see. Regardless, we are ready and waiting to take the calls in a professional, expert, and qualified manner.

Fantastic Hugh. So in terms of wrapping up you mentioned to me that you wanted to change mis-conceptions about the accident claims advice industry.  How exactly do you plan on doing that?

I think I’ve kind of already hinted at that during the questions so far.  What I will say is that we won’t be one of those ambulance chasing companies.  We don’t send unsolicited SMS and text messages like these guys do, we won’t cold call you.  We wait for the client to get in touch with us when they need advice.

When we do hear from them we act in a professional and friendly manner, as only ever have their best interests as heart as I am sure you can pick up from our chat today!

Note from James: Many thanks to Hugh for doing this interview and chat with me. It’s been a real insight.  You can read more about this subject matter on another blog post I wrote about my time as a personal injury solicitor.

Are Packaged Bank Accounts Set To Be The Next PPI or Personal Injury Niche for Compensation Claims?

This blog post is an addition to the previous one that I posted about packaged bank accounts being the next hot topic and includes some more up to date information and thoughts on the subject.

Over the last decade there have been two industries that have consistently been the ones which claims management companies and solicitors have focussed a lot of effort into; PPI (payment protection insurance) and personal injury. The PPI sector has been interesting because it has seen a huge marketing push from claims management companies where they have encouraged UK consumers to make repayment compensation claims on financial packages which were apparently miss-old to them by high street banks. In fact, a thriving cottage industry has popped up around these kind of compensation claims with millions of people in the UK managing to get money bank from their bank.

Could Be a New Industry of Claims Coming

Now I think that there’s a new industry set to break here, and that’s the potential mis-selling of packaged bank accounts. The reason I say this is because I have recently seen targeted Facebook adverts appear offering people help with making claims, as well as new websites popping up to capitalise on what is currently a topic a little bit under the radar.

Whilst the banks are hoping that this won’t happen, with websites such as The Money Saving Expert highlighting the issue, it won’t be long I think before we see a deluge of TV ads, SMS messages, and other adverts pushed at the general public, encouraging them to make a reclaim.   But what exactly has happened, and what does this mean?

Martin Lewis of the Money Saving Expert Website Has Had His Say

martin-lewisAccording to Martin Lewis of The Money Saving Expert website, he says that if a person was (or is) paying their bank a monthly fee on their bank account, then it might just be possible for them to reclaim packaged bank account fees up into potentially the thousands of pounds bracket. He says this, and backs it up with examples, because there are signs that bank were mis-selling packaged accounts with ridiculous and worthless add-ons that their customers didn’t actually need. This included items such as travel and car insurance, which in the event of you needing it, would be impossible to actually make a claim on.

Have You Been a Victim of Packaged Accounts?

Here’s an abridged version of Martin’s checklist for consumers to check against to see if they have been the victim of mis-sold packaged bank accounts. Have a read through it and see if you think you have been affected, because if you have then you might be liable to make reclaims on your packaged accounts via a broker such as Kangaroodle (specialist in mis-sold packaged bank accounts). If you answer yes to any of these statements below then you could be in line for some money back.

  • You were told that you had to have a packaged bank account in order to qualify for a mortgage acceptance offer.
  • You were told that you were too old for standard insurance packages.
  • You were mis-led into signing up for the packaged bank account and were told that you had to have it by the bank employee.
  • Your bank put the prices up on your packaged bank account without informing you.
  • You tried to end the contractual agreement on the account but were unable to.
  • Your bank did not tell you that you had to register your car or phone with them in order to use the packaged account insurance.
  • You were told that you would see an improvement in your credit score if you signed-up for a packaged bank account.

As you can see there are quite a wide range of qualifiers in there so potentially this could be a massive hit to the banking industry just like the PPI mis-selling scandal was – you can read more about the consequences of that here – it actually affected the UK economy.

More Media Coverage

There was even a recent episode of Watchdog on the BBC TV Channel where the host introduced a new item on the mis-selling of packaged bank accounts followed by a full seven minute report on what they described as a “scandal” – thankfully some bright spark recorded and uploaded the full TV segment from this onto the BBC video channel so you can view that below.

My Conclusion on Packaged Bank Account Reclaims

So in my view I think that there’s a big issue on the horizon for UK banks. All of them have been in the industry of flogging packaged bank accounts and there’s no doubt that most of them probably used the same techniques for sales and sign-ups that have been detailed in the Money Saving Expert checklist that I referenced.

If you have been mis-sold a packaged bank account, or even think you might have, I would get in there early and speak to a claims management company before they get over-whelmed with potentially hundreds of thousands of claimant. My experience tells me that the early birds will typically set the precedent and usually get higher pay outs too at the beginning of any trends like this.

My Personal Review of the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition

I love the Wall Street Journal – it’s far and away my preferred financial newspaper choice.  They have recently launched a Weekend Edition.  Here is my short review of what you can expect after reading for a couple of weeks.

Taking your mind off of money matters for a change is what the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition is all about, introduced recently with a re-vamp, the weekend magazine edition delves on culture-based topics. The first time this segment was introduced it was actually for free but it soon became a hit and so to match the public’s demand Dow Jones had to make it a paid subscription; it includes a variety of very interesting topics that will entertain people and get their minds off of serious business stuff.

Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal also includes a Weekend Edition.

The Content is Easy to Read… and Entertaining!

Having the option to have the weekend subscription delivered to your home does make  big difference and this is how the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition became an instant hit. Most of the content in it is informal and has a friendly tone; you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get to see the layout and design of the magazine for yourself. The topics being discussed in the Wall Street Journal Weekedn Edition include:

  • Real estate
  • Culture and cooking
  • Shopping
  • Travel
  • Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Entertainment
  • Music and Movie Reviews
  • Literature
  • Health matters
  • Technology News
  • Sports

Make sure that you subscribe to the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition Only so that you won’t miss out on any discounts and special offers that will help you save some money. For me the best subscription is the printed combo edition, where you’ll get an online copy emailed to you each week as well as the paper copy delivered at your home – this subscription will also reduce your yearly rate.

Majority of Readers of the Weekend Edition are Women

It also became an instant hit among women because they find a lot of things that interest them, for instance the cooking, fashion and decorating topics are just among the few that they like best. You can get the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition in three different subscriptions; 1-the digital plus subscription, 2-the print and digital, and 3-the print only subscription. No matter what subscription type you’ll choose all subscribers will get 52 copies of the WSJ Weekend Edition per year. You’ll also have the opportunity to choose between a quarterly or yearly subscription, although it would be more preferable if you opted for the yearly subscription as you’ll be saving more with it.

Subscription Options of the WSJ Weekend Edition

Among the advantages that you will enjoy if you get a yearly subscription includes total price discounts, on-time delivery of the magazine without any interruption, get free 4 weeks subscription as a company courtesy from Dow Jones, and most of all have a relaxing weekend while reading the WSJ Weekend Edition. Primary payment methods are Visa, Master Card and American Express but you can also pay via other means. You’ll also have the ability to renew or unsubscribe from the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition anytime online. A service-plus gets you a personalized customer care representative to assist you in whatever inquiries you may have about the magazine.

My Conclusion

I find the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition entertaining and dealing with a lot of more culture-based subjects and is the right kind of item to read during the weekends. I definitely recommend this magazine to anyone who wants to get their minds off of serious stuff while enjoying their weekends. The authors and columnists remain true to their views and always provide unbiased content even for an informal kind of magazine.

Why a Bridging Loan Could Cost You Your Home

Bridging Loan News

Copyright https://www.flickr.com/photos/lendingmemo

I am always keen to keep a close eye on the latest financial news and developments coming out of the UK, and one topic that has had a lot of coverage in recent years has been bridging loans; also known as a swing loan or caveat loan for my American readers.  The reason that bridge loan applications have gone up in their public awareness is because there is an increasing demand for short-term financing due to the various negative aspects of the credit crunch that you will be all too aware of.

I read a recent news article in the Guardian newspaper’s Money Section that was written about the perils of taking out a bridge loan for UK homeowners (and commercial property owners).  Whilst the author accepted that the mortgage industry was still in a recovery period due to the recession, he did highlight bridging loans as a “boom industry”.

He went on to say how the applications going into lenders for a bridge loan was seeing a huge spike.  This is down to the fact that borrowers need immediate cash and finance in order to “bridge” any temporary shortfall in money when purchasing a new house or flat.

How Bridging Finance Works

A bridge loan will typically be applied for when a property buyer want to buy their next place, but are still awaiting for a completion on sale of their existing house.  You can understand why people want to do this considering how aggressive the property market can be – they have a desire to ensure that their purchase doesn’t fall through and so will look at a bridging loan as the ideal way in which to prevent that happening.

There are other circumstances too in which a bridging loan is secured.  For example if a borrower is unable to get a typical mortgage for whatever reason (mostly when the property needs a huge amount of work to make it liveable).  The type of buyers usually involved in this activity are commercial property landlords who buy houses for very low prices at auction and require quick and fast finance loans in order to complete the deals.

So with this increasing demand for this type of finance, there has been an emergence of these lenders.  However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders had this to say:

“Bridging loans are clearly not the solution to the scenarios they are being sold for.  They should only really be used on a small amount of very unique financial problems.”

Council of Mortgage LendersThis statement is backed up by various financial experts and analysts who believe that unless a borrower of a bridging loan has a clearly defined way in which to exit from the loan agreement then they could be taking huge risks.

This is particularly relevant if the purchase of the new property falls through, or if the sale of the owners initial home falls through – as the borrower will be left with a large bridging finance agreement, with high interest rates, and no way with which to pay it back quickly before the large repayments kick-in.

Despite this, bridging loans continue to grow in popularity.  The Council of Mortgage Lenders recently published a set of the top loan lenders including bridging finance specialists – and bridging loan companies featured quite heavily in that list.

The latest forecasts state that bridging loan lenders will be arranging over a billion pounds (GPB) of finance by 2014 – with current market values just below that.

Common Questions About Bridging Loans

So with that in mind, what is the true cost of a bridging loan and what are the other common questions people want to know the answers to?  Here are my top FAQs on bridging loans to give you the bigger picture.

  1. A bridging loan will run from anything to 24 hours through to 12 months or more.  It really depends on the lender, but in most cases the finance agreement is for a couple of months at most.
  2. Bridging loans will cost more than high street bank loans and mortgages to arrange.  However, with the increase in demand and competition the costs have started to reduce over the last financial year.
  3. Monthly interest rates on bridging loans will range between three quarters of a percent up to one and a half.  It is possible to negotiate on interest rates with the lenders though, much more than you would on a classic bank loan.

Let’s look at a real world example of how much a bridging loan would cost.  Let’s say you borrow £300,000 at the interest rate is set to 0.9% (a typical rate) then your monthly repayments will be set at £2,700 a month.  Now that’s going to be the same as paying more than ten percent on an annual interest rate – which as you should know is far more expensive than a mortgage that you would get from a typical lending institution such as Halifax or Lloyds.

Calculations

There are also other costs (I don’t want to call them “hidden” because they are clearly stated) which come in the form of fees to set up the bridging loan.  These fees will shock you as they can be in excess of a couple of thousand pounds in some cases.  Having said that, you might want to negotiate on a larger bridging loan interest rate if that means reduced fees… it’s all about your strategic approach to borrowing money.

Bridging loans are regulated by the FSA, but only when applied to first charge loans.  Some bridging loans will need to enter the “second charge phase”- these are not covered by the Financial Services Authority unfortunately which is where some borrowers can fall foul of the agreement.  To be safe, I would always recommend that you choose a bridging loan lender that is fully regulated.  The link that I referred you to earlier will help with that if you need to check up on any company’s credentials in this field.

With nearly fifty bridging loan companies now active in the UK market you will have a lot of choice available to you.  Your high street bank might offer bridging finance, but it tends to be more of a specialist area so this is rarer than being the norm.

My Personal Conclusion & Opinion (with a Warning!)

To conclude, yes a bridging loan can be a great financial product in particular property purchase scenarios.  However, you can become saddled with unmanageable debt if anything goes wrong and the sale falls through.  You could be left with a large loan with large interest rates so in my view a bridging loan is only for the strong of mind who have a definite back-up plan.  Otherwise you might lose your home… just please bear that in mind.

How Mis-Sold Packaged Bank Accounts Became the Next Hot Topic

With my background in personal injury law, and now working in banking, I always find it quite interesting to see which particular finance and law niches are next on the radar for compensation.  Everyone knows about the “ambulance chasers” that work in personal injury encouraging people to claim compensation, and then more recently there were the payment protection insurance avalanche or claims (also known as PPI).  So what’s going to be next?  Well, I reckon we should be looking towards the mis-selling of packaged bank accounts by the high street banks (which I kind of like because it takes the focus off investment bankers for a change!)

What This Means for the Banks

So what does this mean for the banking industry?  Well in simple terms, it’s now becoming apparent that sales managers at banks actively encouraged their staff to sell add-ons for bank accounts that either were not needed or were worthless.  The practice has now become known as mis-sold packaged bank accounts, with thousands of people potentially eligible to make packaged bank account claims for money owing to them.

How Does it Work?

In terms of how it works, a glut of claims management companies have now popped offering to take a reclaim job on for members of the public and to fight for compensation for them.  With things such as mis-sold packaged bank accounts I think that this is actually a good shout, because the process of dealing with banks and bankers in particular can be very frustrating. Trust me, I am one, so I know how hard it can be to get any money back – blood from a stone springs to mind – here’s an example of a website for mis-sold packaged bank accounts and reclaims.

Kangaroodle Website

Example of a website for packaged accounts reclaims.

Packaged Accounts Companies for Reclaims

I am also seeing loads of adverts now appearing on Facebook from companies trying to look like a bank to encourage a click into the whole packaged bank account claims process.  This is a bit cheeky to be honest, and I personally would not go with a company that does this.  What they do is place a sponsored advert into your Facebook feeds that looks like it’s from Lloyds or Barclays bank for example.  It says something like “click here to reclaim money from your packaged bank account”.  What you are then prompted to do is enter in your personal details – but from that point onwards you will in their database and will probably be inundated with emails, phones, text messages all from them and their partners to see if they can reclaims packaged bank account charges for you.

My preferred and recommended approach is that you find a reputable claims management company or alternatively try to do it yourself; but only if you have the patience and time.

How Did It Get Into the News?

So how did this become such a hot topic over the last few months in the United Kingdom?  Well I can track it back to a televised report on a popular consumer program on the BBC.  There was also coverage in newspapers such as the Guardian and Daily Mail which meant the public’s exposure to the idea of being able to make packaged account claims suddenly grew more than ten-fold.  I can’t imagine that the banks were very happy about this and probably spat their morning coffee out when they saw the fall-out on social media, television, and the in news – that same website also has a calculator so people can see how much they are owed.

With PPI in particular, high street banks had to set up entire new departments just to process claims… and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them have to do this now just to handle the influx of people reclaiming money for packaged bank accounts.

To conclude, if you think that you might have been mis-sold on your account terms, they crack on and see if you can get any money back.  It could be worth thousands to you.

Life as a Personal Injury Solicitor: What You Can Expect From This Career

Before I qualified as an investment banker, I had a brief sojourn into working in law.  It didn’t really work out so I changed careers – here’s my advice if you are thinking about this type of career.

If you are in the process of deciding what course of Law you should take once your graduate and qualify, then let me give you a bit of an insight into what life is like as a personal injury solicitor or lawyer.  Essentially your role is to fight for the rights of your client if they have been involved in an accident.  Whilst being a personal injury solicitor might not be as glamorous as a big city London lawyer, dealing in commercial law, there is still a very good living to be made from personal injury.  You can really make a huge difference to the lives of the people that you deal with and represent which is what it’s all about right?  Without the help and assistance of personal injury solicitors, there would be so many people who have been hurt or injured, who don’t have the financial means or know how in which to redress the damages that have incurred.

The Core Basics of Personal Injury

The core basis of personal injury law cases boils down to getting to the bottom of where the liability lies and what the cost of an accident should be.  For example, is it a public liability case, or employer liability – both can be very different, with varied outcomes.  This was brought further into the public eye when the House of Lords debated on the interpretation of how personal injury cases were worked on and categorized.

Understand the Law and Recent Legislation

If you work as a personal injury solicitor then things like this can be key to winning a successful case or not.  You will need to fully understand all of the regulations and how they work, or you really will stand no chance of having a high win to loss ratio for your personal injury cases.  Clients will probably be varied – you could be working with an individual one day, and a large corporation or trade union the next – it really is very interesting and varied work and is something that I personally love doing.

Working With Real People With Real Problems

Having said that, the work of a personal injury solicitor, especially one in the no win and no fee field can sometimes be a very sad one.  You do meet people who really are at their lowest ebb due to the circumstances around their accident and the effect that it’s had on their working and personal lives.  If you do manage to win their personal injury case, to see how this positively impacts them and the happiness and relief it can bring is immeasurable – it makes it fun to be a lawyer those days and very rewarding – unlike other aspects to law when you don’t always get to see the benefits of your work up close.

The Working Culture of Personal Injury Law

In terms of working culture, your day can be long – it’s no easy ride being a personal injury solicitor I can assure you.  Due to the relatively low level of compensation awarded in UK personal injury cases, in can sometimes seem like a lot of work for very little reward.  You will probably be working alone for most of the time too, as personal injury cases, especially those which go to court, will often not involve any client or colleague attendance… that just seems to be the way that it is these days.  You will spend most of your day in an office, reliant on the telephone and your computer.

The Law is Always Evolving and Changing

Having said that, personal injury law is constantly evolving and changing, usually for the better, which means you need to keep up to date with the latest developments in the law.  You must always be totally confident in what you are doing, because your client’s financial and family life can depend on your success and any judgements that are given.  You literally have people’s lives in your hands so need to be both reputable, knowledgeable, and completely on the ball 100% of the time.

My Conclusion as a Solicitor 

To conclude, I would always recommend the legal law students look into the area of personal injury as their career choice.  It can be very rewarding, and you are typically dealing with normal people or the man on the street.  It’s certainly kept me sane in all of the years that I have been a fully qualified and practicing personal injury solicitor.