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Our Statistics Scrutinised

August 28, 2020 by in category News with 0 and 0
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Case Statistics

When advising you about the right strategy for you in your case, we take into account numerous factors including the case type, location, facts of the case, evidence, your own personal objectives and concerns and last but definitely not least, our own track record as proven by our statistics and data analysis.

Wikipedia defines data analysis as:

“a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions and supporting decision-making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, and is used in different business, science, and social science domains. In today’s business world, data analysis plays a role in making decisions more scientific and helping businesses operate more effectively.”Wikipedia

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are proud of our position as pioneers of the motoring law industry, the “ones to watch” so to speak. To maintain our leading edge, Geoffrey Miller Solicitors invest heavily in our data analytics software, analysis and reporting. We recognise that this is the future and embrace innovation as a business. We have been compiling our statistics since as far back as 2013 when our visionary Managing Director, Jeanette Miller, was convinced that data was likely to become increasingly important in virtually every industry imaginable.

“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”By Geoffrey Moore, an American Management Consultant and Author

Dinosaur driven businesses will usually only look at the factual position of a case when offering advice. Facts are undoubtedly important and we will delve into these details in every case. However, we consider our data analytics to be an essential tool for our business to be able to constantly reflect, adapt and improve how we work. Data helps us to consider issues in addition to the facts. This is why our advice to clients is often wildly different to other lawyers whose approach is based on a one-track strategy as opposed to the dozens of strategies we tend to apply to our cases.

Are Statistics Ethical?

We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and required to comply with stringent principles and regulations when it comes to the information we provide to a prospective client. These were refined and crystallised in 2018 to outline in clear terms how a solicitor must act at all times.

SRA Principles

You act:

  1. in a way that upholds the constitutional principle of the rule of law, and the proper administration of justice.
  2. in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.
  3. with independence.
  4. with honesty.
  5. with integrity.
  6. in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion.
  7. in the best interests of each client.

We follow these principles to the letter and will NEVER advise a client to pursue a strategy that is in conflict with our professional obligations.

Our Statistics Clarified

We hear increasingly bizarre comments made about the use of statistics so we have listed answers to some common questions about our statistics to help you work out for yourself whether to feel assured by our data.

1. Are Solicitors are prohibited from using statistics?

We were recently contacted by a client who had been told by another law firm “We do not rely on statistics as it is illegal!” This is simply NOT TRUE! And if you do not want to take our word for it, in August 2020 we contacted the Solicitors Regulation Authority ethics helpline to ask them to confirm whether there was any reason why solicitors cannot use statistics. Their advice was clear and in keeping with our position. As long as the statistics are accurate and not misleading, then there is no reason why they cannot be used. Listen to the recording of the call below:

“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”By W. Edwards Deming, Statistician, Professor, Author, Lecturer, and Consultant

Of course, it would be irresponsible to solely focus on the statistics we gather in making our recommendations to clients. Our approach is far more sophisticated than this, offering a 360 degree view of the merits of each option available considering multiple factors and strategies available.

Hiding behind the premise that there is some regulatory reason why it is acceptable not to track performance is, in our view, nothing more than a poor excuse! Either it suits the solicitor not to disclose his statistics because his performance would not be a pretty picture and stand the test of scrutiny or the solicitor is simply not equipped to gather the data whether this is due to a lack of volume of cases or lack of resource and processes to gather the information necessary.

Regardless of the reasons for not producing statistics, we consider the business that is transparent about their performance with hard data at least brings something more than a “finger in the air” to help measure and assess the merits of the options available.

2. Surely you must be doing something dishonest to achieve your results, they seem too good to be true?

Acting with honesty and integrity is at the forefront of what we do. We are prohibited from presenting any defence that would be misleading to the court and are professionally embarrassed if a client wishes to defend a case on information we know to be untrue.

Our case results are largely achieved by way of a combination of technical and factual defences that are always compliant with the Criminal Procedure Rules and other legislative requirements. In fact in one of our High Court cases where we had been accused by the court of “playing games” and our conduct being compared with the conduct of another law firm that had been heavily criticised, Lord Justice Tracey observed:

“In short, there was no suggestion on any side before the justices that this was a claimant who was playing games. He was pursuing a legitimate defence, supported by evidence. He was making a positive case, not needlessly putting the prosecution to proof. Thus, it is clear in my opinion that para 11 of the reasons for granting the adjournment betray a clear misdirection by the justices in their reliance on Hassani as a basis for permitting the prosecution a second opportunity to get a witness to court who they had known for some weeks would inevitably be required in order to prove their case at trial.”Lord Justice Tracey

So, there you have it. We deliberately and intentionally prepare our cases honestly, with the core principles of the law in mind. The High Court has endorsed our methods of working on multiple occasions in recent years. Our client reviews on independent review sites such as Trustpilot are further testimony to how we operate and more often than not achieve a client’s desired outcome.

We know that other solicitors are often at a loss to understand how we achieve the results we do. This can sometimes be due to a lack of true expertise in the field of motoring law. We know our track record is a reflection of our legal analysis, skill, strategic flare, and talent as first class lawyers. Sadly, being successful and the leaders of our field can also attract jealousy and invented hypotheses about how we work. This quote sums up what we think about that!

“Cheaters often accuse you of cheating. Liars often accuse you of lying. Insecure people often crumble your security. Behavior speaks… How someone treats you may have nothing to do with you; but can be a reflection of who they are.”Steve Maraboli

3. Do you massage your figures?

We are deliberately transparent about our statistics and to those who wish to delve deeper into the data, we can offer all manner of additional information about the case results we measure, whether this be case type, specimen type with a drink driving case, stage at which the case was won (before, during or after a trial) location of case, winning strategies and so on.

The WINNING and LOSING statistics include what you would expect us to include:

  • We include all cases where a NOT GUILTY verdict was given as a winning case.
  • We include all cases where the case was DISCONTINUED as a winning case.
  • We include all cases where our client was found GUILTY (convicted) where they had pleaded NOT GUILTY as a losing case.

We do not include the following cases in our winning/losing statistics:

  • We exclude all cases where our client changed their plea to GUILTY when they had originally pleaded NOT GUILTY. However, we also provide details of these cases in our year end reports and, the reasons for any “change of plea” case.
  • We exclude cases where a client was convicted but has chosen to appeal the conviction. However, when the appeal is concluded, this is when the case is included in our GUILTY or NOT GUILTY figures – we do not double count any successes either, so it doesn’t go down as an appeal win and a not guilty win to inflate the totals.
  • We exclude cases where a client changes representation during the case or we go off record due to non-payment of fees.
  • We exclude cases where a “plea bargain” was achieved – where a client pleaded guilty to a lesser charge such a drunk in charge instead of a drink driving case.
  • We exclude cases where no charges are brought against a client following arrest and No Further Action is taken by the police.

4. Do you exclude cases you have lost where a client refuses to appeal a conviction?

We do not. We exclude convictions that are the subject of an appeal until the appeal concludes and then we include the result of the appeal as one case.

If a client chooses not to appeal or after an appeal is lost the case is included in our statistics as a loss.

5. Do you “make up” defences for your clients?

We do not. A defence is based on the facts as presented to us by our client, the evidence as disclosed by the prosecution (or not as is often the case) and our application of the law to these essential aspects of every case.

Procedural and forensic defences will not be known to a lay client and so there is arguably a need for us as solicitors to explain what defences there may be when we have considered the sources of information and evidence. This is not inventing the facts of a case or the basis of a defence. This is doing the job of a lawyer!

6. Do you count losses when a client pleads not guilty against your advice but is then convicted?

Yes! We do not massage our figures to exclude cases over which we have control.

7. Your success rates must be so high because you exclude clients who change their plea before their trial?

We do exclude these cases from our winning/losing figures. However, we track and disclose these separately. The reason we do this is because a client may choose to change their plea for reasons that bear no reflection on our advice to defend the charge such as a financial limitation in continuing, or the commission of an additional offence whilst the case we are dealing with is ongoing, or personal issues that mean they would rather bring an end to the case as soon as possible.

8. Do you tell everyone to plead Not Guilty?

No. Our advice is based on a client’s instructions, their objectives, sentencing risks and the lawful defence strategies we are able to employ.

How can you decide on the way forwards in your case?

If, after you have done your due diligence about us, you feel doubt, then don’t instruct us. However, if it is fear you feel, we hope we can work with you to lessen that unpleasant emotion and help you through the journey involved in achieving relief that so many of our clients have encountered.

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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.

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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.
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