RJW goes all out for post-Clementi campaign

Russell Jones & Walker (RJW) is heralding the relaunch of its Claims Direct business by spending £5m on an advertising campaign that will include daytime television commercials.

The firm, which is seeking to reposition itself for the post-Clementi era, will launch the campaign next week with a series of commercials that include the slogan ‘Claims Direct solicitors, plain and simple’.

The launch will also see Claims Direct’s legal panel, which deals with the high volume of cases the service receives, triple in size from four law firms to 12 across the UK.

Through Claims Direct, RJW will explore the option of an alternative business structure (ABS), with the aim of transforming itself into a household brand for consumer legal services by the time the Legal Services Bill comes into force.

The relaunch comes after RJW undertook extensive consumer research to gauge how to take advantage of the Clementi reforms and the changes that have come about following the enforcement of the Compensation Act.

Andrew Hoe, the firm’s marketing director, said the research revealed that consumers prefer to go with a brand they know for their legal services.

“The public trusts strong brands, but at the same time 60 per cent would go direct to a solicitor. We’re aiming to show consumers that with Claims Direct they can get both,” he said.

“The advertising push is also to ensure that our brand strengthens so we’re ready to take full advantage of the Legal Services Act.”

RJW bought the Claims Direct brand along with a call centre in 2002 after the company went into administration.

The firm’s head of public affairs Louise Restell has been instrumental in preparing the revamped Claims Direct, having been brought in from Which?, formerly the Consumers’ Association, to bring more of a consumer focus to RJW and its subsidiaries.

As revealed by The Lawyer (12 February), RJW was the first firm to throw its hat into the Clementi ring.

Personal injury powerhouse Irwin Mitchell has also started to reposition itself with the Legal Services Bill in mind by merging with Scottish firm Golds.