‘Don’t get mugged by an insurer,’ campaign warns

Advert launched by the Law Society

The Law Society has launched a controversial advertising campaign to promote personal injury lawyers, with the catchphrase: “Don’t get mugged by an insurer – use a solicitor.”

The move comes as the first insurers start to make use of alternative business structure rules to buy law firms in the wake of the Jackson reforms.

The campaign, which starts today,  includes adverts at railway stations, on the internet and in the regional and local media. A Law Society spokesman described the campaign, which runs for six weeks, as “bold, humorous and memorable”.

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: “This campaign doesn’t pull any punches, but we need to make a clear message – see your solicitor, don’t accept the insurers’ first offer and don’t deal with claims management companies.”

But Association of British Insurers director of general insurance Nick Starling was quoted in the Solicitors Journal as saying it was the “legal community doing the mugging, not insurers”.

“Insurers are fully committed to paying fair compensation to genuine claimants as quickly as possible, full stop. Yet, with a compensation system riddled with high legal costs and ambulance-chasing lawyers fuelling the ‘have a go’ attitude to claiming compensation, it is the legal community that is doing the mugging, not insurers.

“And it is the insurance-paying public that is paying the price through higher premiums as a result of excessive legal fees and frivolous and dishonest personal injury claims.

“The government agrees with us, which is why its recently introduced reforms to the personal injury compensation system will ensure that genuine claimants get fair compensation as quickly as possible at proportionate cost.

“A campaign to ensure our compensation system is fit for purpose would serve the public much more than one promoting solicitors.”

The adverts encourage people to think twice before they accept the first compensation payment they’re offered by an insurer.

“You might get a much better deal if you take advice from a solicitor,” one states. “On average, people get two to three times more if they consult a solicitor, according to the Financial Services Authority.”

“Pursuing your claim with a solicitor will mean you will get what you are genuinely entitled to.”

The advert also says that three million people are injured in accidents every year and they have a right to compensation.

The campaign follows last year’s “ask a solicitor” advertisements.