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Bakers Solicitors MD Julian Oldfield Q&A

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Bakers Solicitors Managing Director Julian Oldfield spoke to Steve Burnham of Speed Medical for their monthly newsletter to talk gadgets, daily routines and the challenges a Personal Injury firm face.

Q. What gadget couldn't you live without?

I hate washing up so the gadget that I couldn't live without is the dishwater albeit that I also despise loading and unloading it! When I asked my daughters they both claimed they could not live without their iPods and having needed to surgically remove them at times I can see what they mean!

Q. Do you have a motto or mantra that guides your working life?

No - I take each day as it comes. I like getting up early and cracking on with the day. If I have been swimming first thing and have swam a mile or so or have sent a dozen emails before 8am then I feel like I am getting somewhere.

Q. Who would you like to play you in a film about your life and why?

Tim Roth is the same build as me and is the sort of gritty single-minded actor who I'd like to play me in a film. I also like Martin Freeman's sense of humour (no Hobbit gags please!).

Q. What's the biggest challenge you face this year?

Ha - what a question - where to start? The biggest challenge for all PI firms is survivorship! If we can hold our nerve this year or so then we might fashion a small living out of what is next. We are looking to take advantage of any opportunities that may fall our way.

Q. What was the last book you read?

I like reading to my daughters; they have just finished Pride & Prejudice (an abridged version for kids rather than the full text) and I love getting home and knocking out a chapter of Harry Potter each evening - with all of the accents and parts read. They lap it up. They are good fun at this age. I might as well take advantage of them before they become unruly teenagers and these special moments lost forever! Personally I have little time in the working week for reading but I do enjoy it on holiday. I really enjoy autobiographies as I like seeing how people develop and get their break.

Final Word. Why did you start working with Speed Medical?

We started working with Speed through a CMC. We have worked with both Faye and Steve to mutually develop our 'Solicitor Exchange' brand. Bakers Solicitors specialise in running PI claims that others don't want. For example claims that are very close to limitation, MIB matters, low quantum cases within the small claims limit, highways claims where the prospects of success are low and especially risky cases which fall below a firm's criterion.

We have had some stunning results on rejected cases where it was felt that there were insufficient prospects of success. Take for example, one recent client. Both the High Street and BTE Solicitors decided to close their file without even making a claim! We were referred the case 3 months before limitation. After negotiations the insurers admitted legal liability, medical evidence was commissioned on his serious injuries and we recovered gross compensation of £297,000 in full and final settlement.

Our 'access to justice' scheme should be at the fore-front of every law firms' mind as we embark on these enormous changes. With our profit share agreement we can provide the profit element to firms to save them the cost. The profit margins in our industry are now so tight that all firms should seriously consider our scheme. Contact me for more details.