Drink Driving Solicitors
Call Freephone 0800 1389 123 Driving Offence Solicitors
request a call back from our driving offence solicitors

Interview with our Managing Director Jeanette Miller

November 5, 2020 by in category News with 0 and 1
Home > News > News > Interview with our Managing Director Jeanette Miller
drink driving solicitors

drink driving solicitorFollowing our 20th anniversary blog last month, and as we head into another national lockdown in England, this month we feature an interview with Jeanette Miller Managing Director to find out more about her journey and thoughts on what makes Geoffrey Miller Solicitors the market leaders in motoring law. Jeanette, pictured here from her home base where she plans on working throughout the lockdown, tells us a bit more about what drives her and the business:

When did you decide you wanted to become a solicitor?

My late father, Geoffrey Miller, was a lawyer but I never really made a conscious decision to “follow in his footsteps”. I think I was actually more heavily influenced by a strong desire to see justice and as corny as it may sound, to feel like I was able to made a difference often to help the underdog, the people who had no-one to fight for them. The Daniel Day Lewis film  “In the name of the father” depicting the infamous miscarriages of justice of the Guildford 4 was a turning point for me. I was studying my degree (not Law) at Uni  in the early 1990’s and was so moved by this film that this was one of the big motivations that made me sign up to a law conversion course in 1993 after I had finished my degree.

What is the history of the firm Geoffrey Miller?

Geoffrey was my father, who sadly passed away in 2016. He had launched his motoring law business in 2000. However, he suffered a significant stroke in 2005 which resulted in his being unable to work for an extended period. At that time, I was already Senior Partner of JS Miller Solicitors, a firm I had launched dealing primarily with civil litigation work, in 2001. I was the only qualified solicitor in the family at that time and so I stepped in to help keep my father’s business going in a supervisory capacity only. Back then, my knowledge of motoring law was extremely basic but I quickly learned by working with leading counsel in the field. By 2006, it had become clear that my father would never return to full time practice and so we launched a new firm with his name, Geoffrey Miller Solicitors of which I was Senior  Partner. We later incorporated and formed the limited company Jeanette Miller Law Limited, of which Geoffrey Miller Solicitors and JS Miller Solicitors are trading names.

For more details about our History, we have recently published our 20 year anniversary blog with some throwback photos and anecdotes from our early years.

What are the Values of Geoffrey Miller Solicitors?

We spent a lot of time formulating these values but I am glad we undertook this exercise in 2017/18 as it has really helped us to understand one another internally as a business and also to attract like-minded colleagues and clients. Having everyone within the business work with these values in mind means we are all singing from a unified “hymn sheet” and we are able to deliver a high level of service to our clients working harmoniously with our colleagues, opponents and courts.

Our Core Values

1. Positivity

We believe in the positive results achieved through positive thinking and the importance of all communication both internally and externally being approached with a positive mind-set.

This value is, perhaps, where we differ from so many other lawyers. I am a strong believer in the power of our attitude, our thoughts and focus on our desired outcome. That is not to say that we ignore the negatives or weaknesses in our cases but we place our focus on achieving our clients’ objectives. Mindset is such an important concept with respected business and world leaders and well known inspirational figures often speaking of the importance and power of our beliefs. We have positive quotes strewn around our offices and regular team training and discussions about the importance of positive thinking. I don’t believe positive thinking is enough on its own of course but every little helps and I would much rather we approach our work from a hopeful and positive stance than expecting and achieving the opposite of what our clients want to happen. One of my favourite quotes which gave me goosebumps when I first came across is:

“The POSITIVE THINKER sees the INVISIBLE, feels the INTANGIBLE, and achieves the IMPOSSIBLE. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”Sir Winston Churchill

2. Team Work

We are a team and we act with integrity, respect and consideration. We value open communication as the best way to create amazing relationships.

Integrity is really important to me personally and to our approach to work. As lawyers, we hold a position of trust where honesty is an essential and basic requirement which we honour and value. Respect and consideration for one another, our clients and our professional associates is also paramount. This starts at home but we are firm believers in treating others as we hope to be treated. This makes our firm a harmonious place to work, our clients feel valued and cared for and our professional colleagues enjoy working with us.

3. Client is King

We care deeply about our clients. We have a genuine desire to help and make a difference to our clients. We follow the principle that the “Client is King”.

Customer service can be something that lawyers tend to consider a secondary skill. In fact, I once interviewed a paralegal who had worked at a firm in the South East where their motto was (incredulously) to “give the illusion of client care!” There are no illusions with us. Anyone who joins our team must have the desire to go the extra mile for our clients. To do whatever we can to make their experience less stressful and challenging. This is why we think we have such positive reviews of our services on sites like Trustpilot.

4. Work Ethic

We are driven by performance and inspired by change. Our objectives are challenging, and we recognise and celebrate both individual and team successes.

Motoring law is full of twists and turns and we have to be proactive and reactive to change all of the time. I must say that in 2020 no-one was expecting to have to adapt to the Covid Pandemic but even through these challenging times, we have been able to ensure continuity of service and performance, albeit with remote working and the challenges in communication this can bring.

5. Accountability

We are accountable and we each take personal responsibility for the needs of our clients and the success of our business.

We have a pretty clear policy within the business. We are responsible for doing what we say we will do, whether this involves returning a client’s call or providing work to a colleague by an expected deadline. Although we all work to a high standard, we recognise mistakes can happen as we are only human. However, if we make a mistake, we own it and do what we can to put things right. We also implement measures to ensure mistakes cannot recur. I think of it this way: Making a mistake once is understandable and forgivable. Making the same mistake more than once is a choice.

6. Excellence

We practice excellence. We continually look for ways to improve performance and take pride in the quality of everything we do.

We invest heavily in staff training, computer software, strategy innovation and wherever we can improve what and how we do our work. The business is simply unrecognisable compared to how we worked back when I first took over in 2005. These changes are the result of constant self-reflection including 360 feedback sought from staff about management. Some of our best ideas have come from members of our team.

7. Expert Pioneers

We are proud to be pioneers of our field of expertise in motoring law and serious litigation. In addition to being at the forefront of this niche area of law, we are creative and devise new ideas and unique case strategies to stay at the leading edge.

I know my Dad was very proud to be one of the country’s handful of experts in motoring law when he first founded the firm in 2000. Since then the niche of motoring law has evolved and become somewhat overcrowded by many non-experts. However, we have remained at the forefront and our position at the leading edge places us in a uniquely advantageous position to achieve results that no other firm is equipped to do.

What is your career highlight?

I was involved in a serious causing death by dangerous driving case in 2016 that was by far one of the most emotionally challenging cases I have ever had to deal with. Any case involving a fatality is difficult but this one, especially so as the client and his family were so humble and there was a genuine strong defence to the charge. The client had been found not guilty at his first trial but the jury had been unable to reach a majority verdict on a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving over the limit. So we had to go to a retrial on that charge after which he was acquitted of the more serious charge but convicted of a lesser offence of causing death by careless driving. He was, however, spared a prison sentence which was a massive achievement considering that he was facing a possible maximum 14 years in prison. There are no winners in these cases as ultimately someone has lost their life and the deceased’s family will never recover from this kind of loss. However, I know the client in this case was already living a life sentence of his own in terms of the grief and angst he endured.

Why do you act for clients in respect of motoring offences?

Motoring law is different to mainstream criminal law. Although the arena and legal principles are the same, motoring law is like a different language. It involves far more technical know-how and the clientele are  people I can relate to and feel a great deal of empathy towards. Although consequences vary considerably depending on the facts and the offence, sometimes, a driver’s liberty and livelihood are at stake. It’s an immense responsibility when we look at it that way and I love knowing that sometimes we can do the next best thing to turning the clock back for that client. Whether they are innocent, made a foolish mistake or they suffer with a mental health or addiction issue, my team and I will never sit in judgement but always approach a client’s case with respect, empathy and strategic know-how to advise on the right options and deliver the best result we can.

What do you find most interesting about defending clients charged with motor offences?

I think it has to be the way every case is different and the intricate defence issues tend to morph as a case unfolds. I used to liken it to the golden compass from His Dark Materials, the Phillip Pullman books now featuring in a very popular mini series on TV. The compass is a device that only one gifted child can interpret and it seems to have a life of its own. Our cases can be like that. We usually have multiple defence issues that can strengthen and weaken depending on evidence that is disclosed to us or that we obtain as a case progresses. I really enjoy the strategic application of the law to each case and seeing how the outcome crystallises.

Do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?

Ha! I suppose it depends who is driving me! I do like driving myself. My partner is a pretty safe driver but he is an ex tank-commander who I sometimes feel thinks he is still driving a tank so can get a bit nervous as a passenger with him 😊

Do you have a philosophy that you apply to your working life?

We have to do what we enjoy or it shows. Control the things you can and let go of the things you can’t. This philosophy is something I have had to remind myself of many times inside and outside of the work arena in 2020!

What is the Law of Attraction and how do you think it helps you and your clients?

Law of attraction is interlinked to mindset and positive thinking. The basic premise is that you attract what you focus and think about. This is why it is so important to think positively even in the face of challenge. There are multiple books and speakers on the subject but by far my favourite author is an American lady (I have had the pleasure of meeting) called Esther Hicks.

What charities do you support and why?

The Stroke Association because when my father suffered a stroke in 2005 I wanted to help others who had gone through the long and challenging rehabilitation process we did.

I was a Duke of Edinburgh Ambassador for a number of years where we raised funds for the charity. I am always impressed when I see young people achieve the DofE award and see it as a demonstration of ambition, commitment and dedication. These are behaviours we encourage and appreciate within our team and I am always drawn to CV’s which make reference to this award.

I have helped a number of homelessness charities in recent years. I think my step-daughter inspired me to want to help homeless people as she would always want to buy food and give it to people on the streets. I did the CEO Sleepout challenge in 2018 when I was able to do a big fundraiser for homeless charities by sleeping outdoors, well, under the cover of the Old Trafford Cricket club for one night.

Most recently, following Sir David Attenborough’s latest documentary on Netflix, I am keen to support environmental charities especially the Woodland Trust.

Call Us Now Free on 0800 1389 123

Call Geoffrey Miller Solicitors 24 hours 7 days a week

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists defending drivers nationwide for all types of driving offences. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors is a trading name of Jeanette Miller Law Limited, a Limited Company Registered in England and Wales. Company No: 8214795.
Registered Office: Riverside House Kings Reach Business Park, Yew Street, Stockport, United Kingdom, SK4 2HD.
Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No: 573314 VAT No:162576593.
Managing Director: Jeanette S. Miller Director: Tara Boyle. View our Website Terms of Use, Privacy and Cookies policy, Accessibility Policy, Personal Indemnity Insurance Policy, Sitemap.
Please note that our calls may be recorded for training and/or contractual purposes.

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors
geoffrey miller solicitors motoring law experts
CALL NOW 7 DAYS A WEEK 9AM to 10PM FREEPHONE 0800 1389 123