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Express Solicitors prepares for whiplash reforms with new promotions


Manchester-based personal injury firm Express Solicitors is preparing for the 2020 whiplash claims reforms by announcing senior promotions.


As part of its strategy to deal with changes brought in by the changes to whiplash claims, Partner Kimberley Kirkby has been promoted to Head of the RTA department. Rachel Price has been promoted to Associate Partner in the same team.


In December 2018, the Ministry of Justice released statistics showing the number of new personal injury claims had fallen to its lowest level in nearly seven years. Claims in county and magistrates courts were 20 per cent lower in the third quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017 – a total of 30,513 claims in 2018, according to the Law Society Gazette.


Express Solicitors says it has undergone “a complete reorganisation” of its RTA department in preparation for changes in legislation in April 2020 – changes will see a tariff system for whiplash claims introduced, settlements without medical evidence banned and the small claims threshold raised to £5,000.


The firm said new head of the RTA department, Kimberley Kirkby, had joined Express Solicitors as part of its very first new client team in 2007 – and has since worked her way up through the ranks to the position of Partner in the Employers’ Liability department and then Head of RTA, where she will lead a team of 53 fee earners and support staff.


Ms Kirkby said:


“I’m delighted to have achieved my goal of becoming a Partner and Head of department at the firm, which was something I was told was possible at the very beginning when I started out in the new client team.


“Heading up the RTA department following the whiplash reforms will be challenging – but we have prepared for them as much as possible and will adapt when they come to ensure claimants continue to get the justice they deserve when they’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault.”


Rachel Price worked as an Associate Solicitor in the Occupiers’ and Public Liability department before gaining a promotion to Associate Partner, which includes a move to the RTA department.


Express Solicitors’ Managing Partner James Maxey said:


“It is a policy of the firm to promote from within, where possible, in order to reward those lawyers who’ve shown commitment, tenacity and expertise.


“These current promotions have been part of our strategy to protect the department against the dramatic reforms that will be brought in next year. In Kimberley and Rachel, we have two experienced lawyers with the skills to guide the team through these challenging times.”


Express Solicitors is continuing its growth plans and currently has 290 employees, including 29 Partners and 55 fee earners. 


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