Personal injury lawyers in the United Kingdom can join the personal injury panel, which recognizes their expertise in personal injury law. The panel is an accreditation scheme that is operated by the Law Society, and the lawyers who belong to it are called solicitors. Personal injury lawyers can volunteer to join the panel once the society verifies their expertise and the lawyers meet other eligibility requirements. Non-solicitors who are highly skilled as well as solicitors are members of the personal injury panel. The mission of the panel is to promote high legal standards in tort law, hold members accountable for maintaining a certain level of competency, and help panel members to better market their services.
The main focus of the personal injury panel is to ensure that personal injury attorneys provide high-quality services to the public. Consumers should expect better representation from solicitors who are members of the panel than those attorneys who are not members. The threefold admittance process, which includes application, re-accreditation, and reselection, is designed to select solicitors who can meet high standards for competency and expertise in personal injury law. An assessor reviews each applicant to determine whether she meets the criteria and eligibility requirements of the panel. Membership often lasts for five years once the solicitor is registered with the panel, and it has to be renewed every five years.
Members of the personal injury panel must also meet annual personal development requirements to maintain their membership. These are legal training courses or seminars that are often helpful in developing the personal injury lawyer’s career as well as keeping him current on updates and changes to existing law. Panel members have to complete six or more continuing professional development (CPD) credits that are related to personal injury law per year. The society has a list of authorized CPD providers that attorneys can use to complete their CPD credits for the year. The society itself often sponsors events that solicitors can attend to earn credits.
The marketing function of the personal injury panel can be attractive to solicitors who want to increase their number of clients, become known as a leader in the field, and gain more exposure for their legal services. The panel has built-in goodwill that the solicitors can take advantage of once they join as members. Members can use the brand associated with the panel and state in their marketing materials and verbally that they are panel members.