I attended a Charity Gala event in Bolton a few weeks ago, in support of the ‘Clic Sargent’ charity. A great event, and I met a fine chap called John Peterham – who owns a firm in Bolton that match injury claim solicitors with the right client for them. We got chatting and I mentioned this blog, and suggested we do an interview about John, the business and a few other random bits!!
Chief Writer (CW): John thanks for doing this. To start off, please tell our readers more about PersonalInjurySolicitorsBoltonArea.co.uk (PISBA)?
John Peterham (JP): Well firstly, thanks for having me, I’m really pleased to be here doing this! PISBA is my company, and what we do is a bit different to other personal injury firms. We are specialists in matching our client, and their specific injury, with the right solicitor for them. CW: A bit like a broker for solicitors then? In a way yes, but we tend to work with the bigger nationwide companies more as they have more solicitors and a wider range of skills for us to choose from. It’s about getting the best person for the client at the end of the day.
CW: What types of injuries/accidents do you cater for?
JP: Anything really – the most common ones we see are road traffic accidents, trips and falls whilst out of the house, and workplace accidents. However we also get sports related injuries, and ones from people on holiday. They can be quite surprised they can still claim even though they were out of the UK at the time, but if for example, you were on a rock climbing excursion booked through the tour operator, the tour operator can be liable if the right insurance or equipment wasn’t in use. I’d always advise people to give us a call and just ask – if there is no chance we’ll tell you, but why not take 15-20 minutes to find out if you have a claim, and put your mind at ease!
CW: Is it ‘No Win No Fee’? And what is that exactly?
JP: No Win No Fee is an American term, but it’s become very popular here because it’s one of those easy to remember terms. The technical term is a Conditional Fee Agreement or Arrangement (CFA). It basically means that a solicitor will examine your case, and if they believe it has a good chance, agree to take it on with a CFA. The CFA will protect the client from paying fee’s if the case is lost, so it can be great as people on low incomes can still get the legal aid they need and deserve. If you do win the case, quite often the fee has a portion paid by the losing party, and you cover th rest from your damages. So it’s a great thing for people to do. CW: Could the fee ever be more than the damages reward though? JP: Good question, but no. The CFA is only allowed by UK Law to be as a percentage which is no greater than 100% of the normal solicitor’s hourly fee. Personal Injury Solicitors Bolton do offer No Win No Fee on most of our cases on average, but it does depend on circumstances. Give us a call, and we’ll be able to tell you quite quickly if it’s something we could arrange.
CW: How long is a case usually and what can be involved?
JP: Well, it really depends, each case is different to the last even if it’s the same injury. Generally though, it can be a couple of months at least. What we tend to do is talk to you on the phone, assess your claim and see if we have a case. The a solicitor will be assigned and will come to visit you to get the full details on the case and collect any evidence needed. After that, a claim will be filed in the legal system and your solicitor will represent you at every stage to ensure it is progressing and the right things are done. A bit vague probably, but like I say, every case can be different but our solicitors will always advise you at every stage what is next and what to expect!
CW: John, where do you come from? What’s your background?
JP: Ooh not sure that’ll be too interesting! I grew up in Cheshire, and moved to Bolton in my twenties. I was working at various legal firms doing bits of marketing or trying to attract new business – I have no legal training personally. I then spotted a gap in the market with this business, and once it’s grown a bit and become successful, I’ll be taking it to other areas in the UK as well.
CW: Any advice for other small business owners, or people thinking of starting their own business?
JP: I guess it’s just giving it a go if you’re thinking about it. You’ll never know otherwise and it’s pointless trying to work out every problem before hand, sometimes you just have to jump in and do it! If you are a small business owner, just stick to it. What I also do is set every Friday aside every week. I answer no client calls, and do no client work that day. My sole purpose is to work on my business. What improvements can I make? What is and isn’t working? Most small business owners get swept up in working for their client, and not enough on their business – I think that can be a big divider between average and successful!
CW: What interests do you have outside of work?
JP: Reading. I love reading a decent novel, with no noise in the background. When I get chance, we also go walking in the Lakes (I have a wife and 2 daughters!). My family keep me pretty busy, but I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing. I think it’s important to have that balance, and whilst working for yourself can sometmes tip it, if you work it right it should be in your control.
CW: Thanks John for this, some great and interesting comments I’m sure our readers will enjoy! All the best for your business, and whilst I wish you the best, I hope I don;t have to use you!
JP: Ha! Yes, unfortunately it is a business that wouldn’t exist in an ideal world. Thanks for having me, I’ve really enjoyed it.
John Peterham is the owner of PersonalInjurySolicitorsBoltonArea.co.uk