Truth Legal’s Managing Director, Georgina Parkin, has been interviewed by The Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Magazine, February 2020.
Read her interview below…
Why did you decide on law as a career?
The age old cliché of wanting to help people and to have interesting work. That and the desire to not become an accountant, which is the chosen profession of the majority of my family.
Why did you choose to work for Truth Legal while specialising in personal injury law?
Truth Legal’s ethics and ethos are what really drew me to the firm. We give away a lot of free advice and there is a large probono element to the work carried out in many departments in the firm. I have worked in personal injury litigation since leaving law school in 2010. It is an area that has a notoriously bad reputation and there have been many occasions in my career when I have told someone what I do and they have asked me if I am an ‘ambulance chaser’. However, I am a firm believer that personal injury and clinical negligence litigation is ethical. If someone has been badly injured, has life changing injuries and they are due to an accident that could easily have been prevented, it is scandalous to believe that they shouldn’t be compensated. I have yet to have a client say to me that the compensation was worth it for what they have had to go through
What are the demands on lawyers in these areas of law? Is access to justice getting better or worse in Yorkshire?
The fixed fee regime for low-value personal injury claims has meant that personal injury work has on the whole become less profitable, but clients quite rightly still expect a high level of service. Access to justice across Yorkshire and in fact across the country has been restricted over the past 10 years. Court fees have increased. There have been vast numbers of court closures. It takes longer for cases to be progressed through the courts. I cannot see this improving as the current government is essentially promising us more of the same and worse. I think as solicitors we have to be transparent with our clients as to how these matters outside of our control may cause delay to their cases. I am also concerned about the impact of Brexit reducing access to justice for many of our clients who are not UK nationals.
Congratulations on your appointment as a managing director of Truth Legal—what do you hope to achieve in this position?
On a strategic level, I will be continuing to work with the other directors to support the continued growth of Truth Legal and diversifying the affordable services and expertise we are able to offer our clients. We have recently opened an immigration department and I am keen to work towards expanding our growth into other areas. I will be focusing on ensuring the smooth running of the office on a day-to-day basis to keep all our employees and consultants happy. I am also Truth Legal’s COFA so I will have responsibility for our financial and administrative affairs (the accountants in my family are very proud). 2020 will be a particularly busy year for me as in addition to my new role as managing director, I have recently been appointed president of Harrogate and District Law Society.
Given your career trajectory, what advice do you have for school leavers considering a career in law? Would you recommend your own route?
Don’t be defeated by rejection. It is a competitive profession and you will suffer knockbacks. Whilst grades are important, when I am interviewing solicitors who want to join us, one of my key considerations is how that solicitor is going to interact with clients. This is not a skill taught at law schools or universities but is incredibly important when it comes to client care and ensuring that clients receive a good level of service. My own route into the profession started off as standard: university, law school, paralegal, trainee solicitor. Since I qualified in April 2015, my career path has been less traditional. I was appointed a director of Truth Legal in September 2016 and managing director in October 2019. I would not have had these opportunities in a larger firm and for me this has been why it has been great both personally and professionally to have worked for the last six-and-a-half years in a progressive firm that is steadily growing in numbers and reputation.