London firm courts crash victims with press advert

A LONDON firm of solicitors has taken a proactive approach to attracting clients following the Southall train crash, by advertising for victims of the accident to contact it.

Matthew Arnold & Baldwin placed an advert in the London Evening Standard last week, asking: “Were you hurt in the Southall train crash? Are you suffering from post traumatic stress? Have you or someone you know been affected by another accident? Call Ian Sankey.”

Prominent personal injury lawyer Ian Walker, senior partner of Russell Jones & Walker and vice-president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil), said: “I suspect there will be more adverts of a similar kind in the future.

“The whole issue of advertising is a difficult one and the profession has very mixed feelings about it, but my personal view about this particular advert is that I am not unhappy about it.”

A firm advertising for victims of a particular accident was “unusual” but had happened before, he added.

Matthew Arnold & Baldwin partner Ian Sankey said that the practice was already acting for victims of the Watford train crash in which one person was killed and 69 people injured in August 1996.

Sankey said: “Because of our experience of Watford we have expertise in the laws of railway injury and know the types of injury people suffer from.”

Both Apil and the Law Society confirmed that the advert did not breach their rules of conduct as there was no attempt to contact people directly.