Today we’re chatting with Simon Helliwell from our Personal Injury team here at Ison Harrison.
Simon is a Senior Chartered Legal Executive and he helps clients with all personal injury claims.
Q: How long have you worked at Ison Harrison?
I have been working at Ison Harrison for over 23 years!
Q: Describe your day to day role:
I have a real mixed bag of cases ranging from very serious injuries to the more minor injuries. Some cases complex and challenging and others less so.
I particularly enjoy dealing with accidents at work. Nobody goes to work to get injured and it gives me great satisfaction when I win cases that insurers very often try to wriggle out of.
Q: What made you choose a legal career?
I actually studied law at O Level many decades ago and was instantly hooked. Nothing else came close.
Q: What was your legal training and where did you qualify?
I trained and qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive whilst working full time and juggling family life. This was no mean feat but gave me a great sense of achievement and pride.
Q: What made you want to specialise in personal injury law?
I actually began my career working for an insurance company but always wanted to work in Law.
My skills working for an insurance company were transferrable to dealing with Claimant personal injury work which I love.
Q: What are the most common challenges you face?
The most common challenge is due to insurers lobbying the Government and essentially influencing Government policy, Defendants now seem to be favoured over Claimants.
Claimants and Claimant lawyers have certainly had a rough ride over the last 10-15 years or so and the balance needs to be addressed.
Costs are a major issue. In cases worth less than £25,000.00 we are essentially doing more and more work when the insurers may only have to pay fixed costs of a few hundred pounds.
Remember, a successful Claimant is a victim and should not be punished or treated unfairly.
Q: Have you had any emotionally difficult cases to deal with?
There have been cases where the lives of my clients have been seriously affected but due to the law or lack of evidence there has been no remedy for them even when morally they should be compensated.
I suppose I want to win every case which is impossible but I certainly give it my best shot.
Q: What is the most interesting part of your job?
The most interesting part of my work is spotting something in a case that others may not.
I am quite thorough and analytical and love pulling a rabbit out of a hat and turning the case into something it possibly isn’t. This comes from experience I suppose.
Q: Can you tell us about any personal injury success stories?
I settled a case last year for £3.3 million pounds. This was a case that other firms rejected. I saw something in it and accepted the case close to the Limitation Date.
I am incredibly proud that had I not been approached my client would have got nothing and instead he has a life-changing sum of money.
Q: What’s the most useful piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?
When I was struggling with working full time; commuting and studying degree level law in my spare time at one stage a bit of self doubt crept in.
My managing partner simply stated that I had decades of working life in front of me and that it will only be very hard work for a few years and I would regret it if I quit studying.
This put things into perspective. Hard work and sacrifice pays and I have been very happy at Ison Harrison for over 23 years.
Q: What do you like doing in your spare time?
My passion is going to live gigs especially abroad. Pre pandemic I was going to 15-20 per year and I am hoping to build this up again.
I also watch Leeds United as often as I can get a ticket. If anybody has a free spare corporate ticket please keep me in mind!
Pre pandemic I used to go to the gym about 5 days per week. Alas, since the pandemic I now rarely go and need some motivation.
Q: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be doing?
Hopefully I will remain in law until retiring in 10 years or so.
Other than that I have no idea. I certainly would not be in a trade. My DIY skills are non-existent. I find putting a shelf up stressful rather than enjoyable!
You can find Simon Helliwell at our Leeds city centre head office located at Duke House, 54 Wellington Street, Leeds, LS1 2EE . To contact Simon directly about a personal injury matter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 284 5048.