New lead generation model to ensure PI firms' viability
By Nicola Laver
A new lead generation model, guaranteeing law firms that they will only pay for the volume and type of personal injury enquiries they receive, has been unveiled by legal marketing collective First4Lawyers.
The company has launched the model ahead of the Civil Liability Act (CLA) which is due to be implemented in April 2020 bringing major changes to personal injury practice and procedure.
Managing director of First4Lawyers, Qamar Anwar, said: “One thing next year’s reforms will not do is stop people being injured.
“Access to justice is core to our work and we want to ensure that consumers can continue to find lawyers to represent them.”
Under the CLA, there will be a separate process for settling whiplash claims following road traffic accidents, as well as introducing fixed levels of compensation depending on severity.
Under First4Lawyers’ existing panel scheme, firms currently pay a flat monthly marketing fee and receive a fluctuating number of enquiries on a month-by-month basis.
The new model will operate alongside the existing model but in a different way. Firms choosing the new ‘fee per enquiry’ model effectively transfer the risk to First4Lawyers, so they will only pay for the volume and type of enquiries they receive each month.
The aim behind the new lead generation model is to help firms be prepared if the CLA is implemented; and “acknowledges that the value of road traffic accident (RTA) claims for firms will be greatly reduced or even removed completely because of the reforms”.
However, there remains uncertainty as to whether or not the reforms will actually come to force.
First4Lawyers says by operating alongside each other while the timeline for implementation of the reforms is uncertain, law firms will be able to decide which model best suits their own business.
It said firms on either model will “receive high-quality leads”, pre-screened by First4Lawyers which are generated from television and online advertising campaigns.
The “viability” of a new enquiry will be screened before the decision is made to transfer it to a panel law firm.
The caller will be told they must provide the same relevant information to the law firm as no data will be transferred because according to legal advice obtained by the company.
This, says the company, will ensure the model complies with the ban on law firms paying referral fees under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2010 (LASPO).
Anwar said: “We are confident in our ability to deliver what legal practices need and First4Lawyers has always adapted to changes in the market in a way that helps the law firms we work with.
“We recognise how difficult the reforms will make life for many personal injury firms and are committed to working with them to ensure their practices remain viable.
“Despite the doubts surrounding the date of implementation, we believe it is prudent for firms and for us to be ready now.”
First4Lawyers is a seven-times winner at the Personal Injury Awards and a double-winner at the Modern Claims Awards.