I Am Able – Our Clients’ Stories

We’re showcasing the stories of five of our personal injury and medical negligence clients. Focussing on ability and not disability, we’re shining a light on the things our clients are able to do with Irwin Mitchell’s support behind them. This campaign celebrates them and their stories. We’re proud to have played a part by helping them access the support, rehabilitation, and adaptive equipment they need.

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Stephanie PHOTO

Frybergers Stephanie Ball Honored as an Attorney of the Year

Stephanie Ball of Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., has been named one of the 2017 Attorneys of the Year by the publication Minnesota Lawyer after winning a multi-million dollar jury verdict for a quadriplegic woman.

Nine years ago, Paige Anderson was a passenger in a car that collided with a school bus, paralyzing her. With Ball representing her, she was awarded $28.6 million in damages, including medical and caregiver expenses. According to an article by Minnesota Lawyer, “It may be one of the largest personal injury verdicts in Minnesota.”

“I am honored,” Ball said about the award, “but the real reward was giving Paige a voice and having her loss recognized.”

“Attorneys of the Year” is an annual list assembled by Minnesota Lawyer to honor the best and brightest attorneys across the state.

Law Firm Overview:

Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., is a 24-attorney practice providing a range of over 35 legal services that include business and corporate law, real estate transactions, employment and labor law, litigation, wills and trusts, finance and personal injury. The group holds licenses across an array of states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Michigan. For more information, call the Duluth office at 218.722.0861, the St. Paul office at 651.221.1044 or the Superior office at 715.392.7405.


PI market will shrink to just a dozen firms says legal investor

Hundreds of firms specialising in personal injury could be whittled down to barely a dozen within five years. That was the prediction today from Steve Din, the founder of law firm investor Doorway Capital, as he predicted rapid consolidation of the market driven by imminent reforms of the sector.

Doorway recently acquired the debts of Simpson Millar owner Fairpoint and Din revealed the risk capital investor has substantial funds available to make further purchases.

Speaking at a PI conference in Manchester today, Din said: ’Of the 800-plus specialist PI firms presently in the market, consolidation appears not only likely but, for us, represents a real opportunity.

‘We consider this opportunity will also encompass non-PI consumer law firms. We believe Doorway Capital can force this consolidation by focusing our investment at making acquisitions, making lateral hires and investing heavily in direct marketing.’

Din, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, told delegates that some High Street banks are expected to retrench from funding small personal injury firms, leaving them to focus on funding just the larger firms.

He added that smaller claims management companies, particularly those that depend on RTA claims, would largely disappear, with the larger surviving CMCs becoming an alternative business structure and possibly integrating with a law firm.

Doorway Capital has come to prominence in recent weeks through its investment in Simpson Millar, effectively becoming owner of the national firm after the administration of its previous parent company Fairpoint.

Din insisted the firm is a profitable business which only posted losses for 2017 because of goodwill repayments.

Over the last two years, Doorway has advanced almost £50m to various law firms needing to fund their work-in-progress, case acquisition and the acquisition of other firms.

The PI sector is set to experience major change in the coming years, with RTA claims subject to a fixed tariff scheme and the small claims limit rising to £5,000 for RTA claims and £2,000 for other personal injury claims. Any claims worth less than those figures will effectively be taken out the hands of PI firms who will no longer be able to claim their costs. Fixed fees are also likely to be extended, following a report by Lord Justice Jackson.