I’m not too worried as to who was to blame, but I am worried about the future and making sure I get the right representation. My insurer has told me I need use its panel solicitor.

Someone called me from the panel solicitor telling me they are a litigation specialist. Is this the same as a solicitor, and do I have to use who my insurer tells me to?


I hope you have a speedy recovery and I like your ‘I’m alive’ attitude. With regards to representation, despite what anyone tells you – i.e. your insurer – you are the client, it is your claim and you can choose your own solicitor. Simple as that.

If you do choose to let your insurer dictate what legal representation you have, be very careful what the ‘panel solicitor’ firm tells you as to the status of the person it proposes to use to run your claim.

There are all kinds of phrases bandied about, such as ‘litigation specialist’, ‘paralegal’ and ‘solicitor liaison officer’. In short, none of these titles mean that the person is a qualified solicitor, or has any legal qualifications at all. You can check on the Law Society website.

While there are some very good litigators who are not solicitors, in my experience there are also some very poor ones, so do your homework to make sure you get someone who can do the job properly.

Andrew Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly August 2014