Law firm signs up to anti-ambulance chasers’ charter

A regional law firm has signed up to an industry initiative aimed at putting a stop to unethical marketing practices such as cold calling and spam texts and emails.

Bridge McFarland, employer of around 200 people in Hull, Grimsby, Lincoln, Louth and Market Rasen, is backing the Ethical Marketing Charter drawn up to promote professionalism in dealing with personal injury claims.

Chancellor George Osborne fuelled the controversy surrounding the sector when he increased the ceiling on small claims for personal injury cases to £5,000.

The Association of British Insurers says the announcement is a significant breakthrough in tackling the growing compensation culture, but the Law Society voiced fears that the Chancellor’s proposals will undermine the right of ordinary citizens to receive fair compensation from people who inflict injuries through negligence.

Leanne Keating, pictured, Head of Personal Injury for Bridge McFarland and Managing Partner of the firm’s Hull office, said the dispute demonstrates the benefits of signing the Charter.

She said: “We are not affected significantly by the changes because most of our work has a much higher value than £5,000, but it doesn’t help anyone to see the portrayal of whiplash Britain.

“The national tabloid press feed us tales of nuisance calls to recruit new clients, claims days to coach the uninitiated in how to present their injuries, and cash-for-data bribes being offered to insurance company employees. No-win, no-fee, no ethics, no scruples, just foot to the floor chasing those ambulances.

“The provisions of the Charter can put an end to nuisance marketing, unethical buying and selling of accident data and exerting pressure on people to make a claim. It enables companies to demonstrate their commitment to working ethically and professionally, and to encouraging others to do the same. And as an industry initiative, it is likely to be more enthusiastically adopted than media campaigns and Government diktats.”