Once you show interest you're in for it.
Insiders have accused National Accident Law of "harassing" potential clients in order to win their business.
NAL is a personal injury firm regulated by the SRA. It employs 6 solicitors and another 40 fee-earners, forming part of NAHL Group Plc.
NAHL’s last annual report made sobering reading for investors, disclosing that on revenues of £41.1m it had made a profit before tax of £600k.
The company blamed its difficulties in part on changes to working practices brought about by the pandemic. Remote and hybrid working “has contributed to fewer accidents occurring during travel time, in workplaces, surrounding shops and urban areas”, rued the report.
Civilians who did manage to buck the trend and spank into plate glass windows or tumble down open manholes represented a “Pipeline of value”, and the annual report emphasised the company’s intention to “grow the number of personal injury enquiries we process in our own consumer-focused law firm, National Accident Law”.
Insiders told ROF the requirement to “continue to optimise our processes to achieve the admission and settlement timescales in our planning assumptions” had led to directives that discomfited staff.
They were “requiring harassment of potential customers” said one, who explained that if an individual contacted the firm, service agents were required to call them three times a day “for 14 days straight before we can close the matter”.
The source said that NAH agents were also permitted to close a matter if the potential client was adamant that they didn’t want to proceed or had decided to instruct another firm, but “we had to try and convince them that they had to stay”. Failure to do so resulted in staff being “criticised for not pushing back” hard enough to keep them.
ROF has seen text conversations between staff discussing the tactics.
“They want us to call people 3x a day!!” said one, who stated that if they were in a customer’s shoes, “I would complain if they called me more than once every two days”.
“This 1000% feels like harassing”, wrote another NAH employee. “People are going to start logging the number as a nuisance caller and people are going to get immediate scam alerts when we call”.
“I don’t feel comfortable calling that many times a day”, said another NAH service agent. “It’s rude and annoying for people”.
A spokesperson for NAH told RollOnFriday “it is factually incorrect to state that service agents are required to call customers 3 times a day for 14 days in a row”.
RollOnFriday provided the firm with a copy of an internal email sent by a NAH Claims Submission Team Leader which appeared to contradict NAH's statement. It instructed staff “to call the matters at least 3 times a day, where possible. After 14 days, where we have attempted the Claimant a reasonable amount of time, we should then send a 7 day letter”.
Upon receipt of the evidence, NAH went quiet for a while. Then its spokesperson replied, “When a potential customer asks NAH to call them back we do our best to get hold of them at a time that suits them and it may take us repeated attempts before we're able to speak with them. We believe our call schedule is appropriate and we regularly review our processes based on customer feedback. We are proud to have instigated industry efforts to stop nuisance calls through our Ethical Marketing Charter”.
An insider told ROF the 14 day timer reset if someone said they needed time to think whether to proceed with NAH. “So on day 13 if they said, ‘I need to discuss with my partner’, we’d keep chasing for another 2 weeks”.
The pressure placed on NAH employees to secure sign-ups, as well as the bonuses available to them as incentives, came to the fore in 2021 when the SRA barred two NAH paralegals from working in law firms after NAH caught them logging calls to clients which never happened.
While admitting she had been dishonest, one of the parlegals, who worked in NAH's Claims Prepration Team, said that she falsely recorded time “in order to increase her daily units and meet targets”.