Coronavirus COVID-19

Dominic Harrison
Dominic Harrison
Chief Executive Officer

 
The UK government released updated guidance on the containment of coronavirus yesterday, substantially increasing the rate of self-isolation across the country.  Part of this recommendation was that those who can work from home should do so. 

I wish to reassure you that your safety, your matter and your data remain our highest priority and subject to the very highest standards of professional conduct.

CONTINUITY OF SERVICE

MW has robust, resilient, and tested Business Continuity and Business Recovery plans, so we can maintain the levels of service you would expect from us despite the external disruptions.  These plans are now coming into effect.  In the coming days we will significantly reduce the number of staff who are required in branch offices, with no compromise to service levels. 

HEIGHTENED RISK OF FRAUD

Times of disruption present opportunities for the unscrupulous to take advantage of heightened confusion. 

PLEASE TAKE EXTRA CARE, PARTICULARLY WHEN MAKING PAYMENTS TO OR RECEIVING MONEY FROM MW, THAT YOU OBSERVE HIGH STANDARDS OF CAUTION, INCLUDING:

  • Noting that MW Solicitors will NEVER change our bank-account details mid-transaction

  • Making sure that you confirm transactions verbally with your original Solicitor, and never to rely exclusively on email communication

  • Treating any communications from new or unrecognised sources, particularly any communications that express urgency or require you to move quickly, with the utmost scepticism

 

STAFF AND CLIENT WELFARE

To preserve the health of our staff and clients we have been operating policies of restricted travel and meetings.  Only essential meetings and inter-office travel have been permitted for the last week.  This has now extended to self-isolation in line with government advice.  This may affect our ability to conduct face to face meetings, but it will not prejudice our ability to deliver outcomes for clients.

REMOTE WORKING

MW Solicitors works on cloud-based infrastructure, meaning our staff can log in and access their client files privately from any computer.  This access is protected by two-factor authentication, ensuring no compromise to security for client information. 

Further, all of our critical support functions, including finance and compliance, are maintained on the same cloud-based infrastructure.  This allows supervision, audit and client payments to also be made as normal even when our staff are working away from their normal office locations.

We will continue to monitor guidance from government as this complex situation continues to evolve.  You can always be assured that:

  • Your Solicitor’s contact details remain the same and are still functional.

  • Your rights as a client are unaffected.

  • Your data remains safe.

  • Any funds you have with us remain safe.

TRANSFER OF FILES

With effect from Monday 23rd March 2020, the majority of our staff shall be working from home.

This will mean that we may need to take your file of papers or certain documents from the file home with us.  We can assure you that these will be transported in a safe manner. These files or documents will remain in your legal representative's home and will be kept private until such time as they return to the office.  This will enable your legal representative to continue to progress your matter.  We will continue to adhere to our data protection policies and procedures during this time of homeworking.
 
Please rest assured that we take client confidentiality extremely seriously and the files and documents will only be seen by your legal representative.

HELP US, HELP YOU

To mitigate the risk posed by the current outbreak of Coronavirus, we will be sending all correspondence wherever possible by email and ask that when sending correspondence to MW Solicitors that you only send hard copies when absolutely necessary, for example when an original signature is required.  If you need to send original documents to us please continue to use your usual correspondence address. 

Please note that MW Solicitors will also, until further notice, agree to accept service of proceedings and documents by email.  Service of proceedings and documents by email should be sent to service@mwsolicitors.co.uk. It remains the position that we do not accept service of proceedings or documents by fax.  Please note that these arrangements do not include service of documents by Local Authorities in relation to care proceedings who should continue to serve documents on the MW Solicitor instructed.

FURTHER COMMUNICATION

We are communicating to you as a critical part of the client-care we owe to our clients.    If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact your solicitor in the normal way.  If you wish to contact MW Solicitors regarding a new matter please use our Contact Us to arrange a callback at your convenience.

International Women's Week takes place from the 8 March 2020 and aims to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women.


Joanna Bailey
Joanna Bailey
Partner - Head of Personal Injury

The 2020 campaign is themed #EachforEqual. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day where we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.

I am proud to work for MWSL in a business which supports and recognises the work and progression of our female staff at all levels whilst being the most socially diverse firm I have worked for in relation to gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. We acknowledge the support of our male colleagues in our progression and look forward to celebrating International Men's Day on November 19 each year.

We Can Help

At MW we recognise the efforts and contribution of those committed to helping when things go wrong whatever your background. If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a call back at your convenience.

National Careers Week

 

National Careers Week is a week long celebration (2nd to 7th March) which raises awareness about improving careers education in schools and colleges. 

Government evidence shows that this is an area that needs improvement in order to ensure that future generations will benefit from quality, meaningful interactions which help them to understand the links between courses, skills and the pathways they open up.


Jessica Kinnear
Jessica Kinnear
Trainee Solicitor

Today I started my fourth and final seat in my training contract with our Personal Injury department. This is part of my career progression to becoming a qualified solicitor. This has been my ambition since I was 15 and I have gained valuable legal work experience along the way.  I am looking forward to my next 6 months in which I will learn how to represent the victims of accidents and how the legal system compensates them.

MW Solicitors supports schools and colleges by giving talks on how to obtain a legal career and what life as a lawyer is like.  Joanna Bailey, the Head of Personal Injury gives an annual lecture to Middlesex University on exactly this, whilst last November our departments para legal, Shazad Ali returned to his old school to do this too.

MW Solicitors partners with the award winning social enterprise, Enabling Enterprise, who work with primary schools, secondary schools and businesses to bring the world of work into the classroom through lesson-time projects, challenge days and inspiring visits to businesses.  If you (or your school) would like further information on the programme, please contact Enabling Enterprise via their website.

You can find out more about National Careers Week at nationalcareersweek.com or get involved in the chat on Twitter using the hashtag #NationalCareersWeek .         

We Can Help

At MW we recognise the efforts and contribution of those committed to helping when things go wrong having dedicated their careers in doing so. Our Head of Department, Joanna Bailey, and our team have years of experience in acting for client’s entitled to make a personal injury claim. We are "small enough to care, big enough to make a difference".

If you would like to talk to us about your case, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a call back at your convenience.

Recruitment

Regional High Street Law firm, MW Solicitors (MW), has qualified a record twenty three new Solicitors in September 2019, and thirty one in the last twelve months. This makes MW one of the largest providers of Training Contracts in England.

Almost ten thousand Solicitors’ Firms nationwide offer only six thousand traineeships annually, less than one each on average.

Well over half of these Newly Qualified Solicitors have accepted full-time, permanent roles with MW in fields from Clinical Negligence to Family Law, with a significant number joining the Firm’s market leading Residential Property business.


Dominic Harrison
Dominic Harrison
Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive, Dominic Harrison said,

“We are thrilled that the significant investment we have made in our people and our communities for many years is now yet again bearing fruit, for us, for the clients we serve, and of course for the Trainees themselves who have worked tirelessly and diligently during their training contracts in pursuit of this crowning career moment.”

MW operates a training program of approximately one hundred people at any one time, and offers training not only for Solicitors but also for alternative legal qualifications such as CILEx and CLC.


Sonia Jain
Sonia Jain
Solicitor

Head Trainee Sonia Jain, who joined MW in 2016 as a Paralegal and will qualify as a Solicitor this year, said,

“Joining MW has meant the opportunity to train in the many different legal disciplines we practice, and in different offices around the South of England. This is not something other Firms could offer me. I am thrilled to have accepted a role as a Qualified Solicitor in the Civil Litigation team in our Fulham Office.”

The firm recruits candidates in all positions all year round and also awarded seventeen new training contracts this week. MW has grown considerably since attracting private equity funding in 2015 and is now one of the largest providers of Legal Aid and Conveyancing services in the country.

About MW Solicitors

MW Solicitors is a modern, multi-branch consumer focussed law firm. We cater to all our clients’ day to day legal needs, from writing a will, to buying/selling a house, to helping with the more difficult things life can throw at you such as divorce, catastrophic injury, or professional negligence. We bring our services to you from your high-streets at twenty six offices across London and the South, meaning a solicitor you can talk to is never far away.

MW is an equal opportunity employer and proud of its commitment to diversity in the workplace. In the latest diversity submission to the Law Society, MW was 72% female and 34% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME).

Catherine Chung

Chloe Howes

Katie Garcia

Lauren Rigby

Luke Canavan

Mabelline Appiah

Nina Koushi

Sini Kumaran

Sonia Jain

Stephanie Clark

Tanvir Sandhu

Zainab Qaisar

 

Congratulations to the 17 new Trainees who embark on the next step of their journey to qualification.

Director of Legal Services, Neil Perot, commented

“MW are very proud to be awarding 17 training contracts which is a reflection of the individuals’ concerned capabilities and hard work. With 23 of their colleagues qualifying as solicitors at the same time, with over half continuing in qualified roles within the company, MW’s commitment to training and bringing on future talent remains as strong as ever.” 

They are

Abeda Khan

Property - Bexleyheath

Aliyah Saddique

Property - Chiswick

Ellie Karoubi

Property - Kingston

Elliott Dorman

Property - Tunbridge Wells

James Boschat

Property - Guildford

Louisa Bazett

Property - Tunbridge Wells

Lucy Brouwer

Property - Worthing

Milan Vaghela

Property - Islington

Nicole Watts

Property - Guildford

Nicoletta Antoniou

Property - Streatham

 

Nikita Hasrajani

Property - South Croydon

Shahana Choudhury

Property - Worthing

Shandhya Rai

Property - Reigate

Shauna Telford

Property - South Croydon

Simmone Rodrigues

Property - Ealing

Syeda Shamim

Property - London Bridge

Zafrin Hoque

Property - Brighton

 

 

 

Congratulations to the Team at MW Bexleyheath who came away with the top honour in the category of Best Employer at the recent Bexley Business Excellence Awards 2019.  McMillan Williams Solicitors are very proud of this success as we stive to make our business a great place to work.

What does it take to be a Best Employer?

The category of Best Employer takes its inspiration from the words of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, who said

“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business,”

The Judges were looking for an employer with a strategic and committed approach towards employee investment, engagement, welfare, training, development and diversity, no matter the person’s gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social status.

Specifically their criteria were:

  • A highly visible strategic approach towards valuing employees and developing their potential.

  • A commitment to diversity within the workforce, valuing every employee, no matter their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social status.

  • A planned programme of employee engagement and two-way communication; and the opportunity for employees to have their say.

  • A comprehensive training and development programme, including performance planning and management.

  • Best practice in employee welfare, equal opportunities, health, safety, security and wellbeing.

  • Evidence to show the commercial benefits of the company’s ethos; including productivity,recruitment and employee retention.

Our Achievements

The judges commended MW for three outstanding achievements:

  • The appointment of MW Wellbeing Officers.

  • The annual Employee Opinion Survey.

  • Continuous commitment to Employees.

The Competition

The Team, led by Office Manager Keeley Lengthorn, faced stiff opposition from some of the biggest employers in the Bexleyheath, Sidcup and Dartford area including; EB Associates Group (a large financial planning consultancy), Staffline (a national recruitment agency) and global food retailer McDonalds.

Team MW Bexleyheath

Many thanks to all those who assisted in preparing the submission and a special thanks to our CEO Dominic Harrison who has been with the firm for just two years and has spearheaded the cultural change programme which has led to MW Solicitors winning this prestigious award.

MW Client Portal

 

Partnering with Thomson Reuters and Fusion IT, MW Solicitors has developed a new secure client portal to make the conveyancing process faster, smoother and more secure.


David Fazakerley
David Fazakerley
Chief Information Officer

Over 1,400 clients have already used the portal and the feedback has been extremely positive.  There is no need to download separate apps, and it is designed to guide people through the process while allowing them to break off and log in later if they find they don’t have everything they need to hand.

Director and Chief information Officer MW Solicitors, David Fazakerley said

“Our new system enables clients to key in everything they have to provide in their own time, without needing to come into the branch, which is far more convenient for them. And from a business point of view, this has dramatically reduced the time spent logging client details to the system, in addition to being completely secure and accurate. What once took two weeks to complete now takes just two hours.”

Jamie Watson, managing director of Fusion IT, commented

“As the biggest MatterSphere consultancy practice outside of Thomas Reuters Elite, we were able to develop a bespoke solution for MW Solicitors that enabled them to enhance their client offering while reducing the amount of business hours spent inputting data”

Patrick Hurley, vice president, Customer Advocacy for Thomson Reuters Elite, described the project as

“a perfect trifecta of collaboration between our teams. MW Solicitors has always sought to use our solutions in new and innovative ways, and we are thrilled to have Fusion IT as a certified Implementation Partner for 3E MatterSphere helping them achieve such ground-breaking success.”

The launch of the MW Client Portal continues to position MW as the only Solicitors Firm offering High Street service and Big Tech innovation.

Press Coverage

It is with sadness that we see that another firm with a strong personal injury claims department has ceased trading. Our thoughts go to the employees and the firm’s clients.  


Timothy Pyant
Timothy Pyant
Partner and Deputy Head of Personal Injury

Seth Lovis & Co were a Legal 500 ranked for their work in the personal injury field. Sadly firms ceasing trading or being taken over has become an all too common an occurrence with recent rafts of governmental led reform in the personal injury world since 2010. With the forthcoming Civil Liability Act 2018 coming into effect in just over a years time it is likely that more firms will cease trading.

When a firm ceases trading or goes into administration that firm’s clients will worry about what happens with their case. This is particularly true for people who are seriously injured. Usually the files are assigned to one or more firms who then have to go through all of the files and work out what happens next.

However the client has a freedom to choose to move their matter to another firm – one of their choosing.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" and our dedicated team of highly experienced Personal Injury lawyers are here to help you.

We are able to quickly assess whether the matter is something we would be able to assist with. We are experienced in taking over cases from other firms when clients have become dissatisfied with their current firm or that firm lacks the necessary expertise to run the claim.  MW Solicitors is ranked in the Legal 500 for their expertise in the Personal Injury field. We have specialist lawyers who deal with acquired brain injury, spinal cord injuries, amputees, chronic pain conditions including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as well as orthopaedic injuries such as broken legs.

If you have been notified that your current solicitors are ceasing trading or have any concerns about the handling of your case we are more than happy to speak with you or offer a free initial interview. Use our Branch Finder to locate your nearest MW Office and our lawyers are willing to travel if necessary.  To speak to a specialist Personal Injury Solicitor don't delay, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us page to arrange a callback.

 

MW Solicitors are proud to announce that the firm has been shortlisted as Finalists in two categories at the British Legal Technology Awards 2018.


David Fazakerley
David Fazakerley
Chief Information Officer

The nominations are in the category of “Alliance of Year” with technology partner Infotrack and in the category of “Most Innovative Law Firm of the Year” for the development work MW Solicitors have done creating web based portals for their clients.

In response to the announcement MW Solicitors Chief Information Officer, David Fazakerley, said:

“To be named finalists out of hundreds of submissions is an achievement in itself and is recognition of the progressive work MW staff have been doing on behalf of their clients.”

With the judging panels now completed, Representatives from MW will be present at the awards ceremony on 1st November where the Winners and Runners Up will be announced.

This is the first year MW have been shortlisted in these awards and is a testament to the progress in technology that we have made especially given the judging panels are made up of the UK’s leading industry experts in academia, technology providers and peer law firms.

Alliance of the Year Award Most Innovative Firm of the Year Award
Alliance of the Year Most Innovative
Law Firm of the Year

Brighton and Hove Pride 2018 is only a month away and we are pleased to announce our renewed support to the festival for the next 3 years.  This will be our 4th consecutive year of support for Pride, and we are proud to say that MW Solicitors reflects the culture of equality and diversity that Pride represents within our own workforce.

MW Solicitors have over 25 offices across the South Coast and South East of England with offices in Brighton, Hove, Eastbourne, Worthing and Bognor Regis to name just a few and we provide the public with a wide range of consumer legal services including family law and private practice, property conveyancing, civil and criminal litigation and clinical negligence and personal injury practices.

In addition to supporting and sponsoring Brighton and Hove Pride each year, MW Solicitors are proud to provide The Brighton Pride Organisation with its legal services each year.

Supporting equality of opportunity and access to justice are at the core of what MW Solicitors strive to deliver to the communities of Brighton, Hove and all along the south coast as we continue our proud association and support of Brighton and Hove Pride.

Join us at our Free Legal Seminar on 17th July 2018

As well as being involved over the Pride weekend in August both in the Park with our own stand and with our open top bus in the Pride Parade, MW Solicitors are also hosting a free legal seminar open to anyone covering topics such as Surrogacy, Adoption, Pre Nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements and Wills and Declarations of Trust along with other topics of interest.

This will take place at Club Revenge on Tuesday 17th July at 6.30pm and will last around 90 minutes. There will be plenty of time for questions and we will have a broad range of our legal team on hand in support so please do come along to hear where the law and legal processes stand on these important topics, refreshments will be provided.

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