AN EARLY call to the bar for solicitor Mark Pollard was a career-boosting break that helped him realise his ambitions.
Leeds-born Mr Pollard was studying law at Liverpool John Moores University by day, and was bar manager at Wood Street’s Camel Club by night.
His DJ knew a partner in a Liverpool law firm and was able to secure him work experience: “I put my heart and soul and nuts into it,” he said.
After qualifying he worked for several years with a Liverpool firm handling personal injury claims, where he met his partner Samantha Peddie in January, 2009.
He said: “We were managing a new influx of work that they brought in, and that’s where we had the idea of Vantage Law.”
Vantage is their own practice that focuses specifically on personal injury cases.
Ms Peddie had worked on both sides of the fence, prosecuting and defending insurers in a career that included stints at DWF and Weightmans.
Vantage, as a start-up, was predictably shunned by the banks, but after a £50,000 loan from Merseyside Special Investment Fund it incorporated as a limited company in August 2010 and started trading in February 2011.
And from day one its USP was to differentiate itself from the perception of the “ambulance chasing” personal injury sector characterised by the growth of a ‘whiplash’ claims culture.
They say their standards of client care separate them from the crowd. Mr Pollard said: “Bigger isn’t always best.”
Their use of a paper-less IT system encourages a personal touch. Ms Peddie said: “It is quite rare we send a letter. Everything is done quite quickly.”
And Mr Pollard said clients appreciate their expertise, rather than having to deal with a low-paid office junior with minimum experience: “I don’t see why that should be the case because for you, as an individual, it is one of the most important things to happen to you.