Case Study

Kennedys Discount Rate Campaign

Objectives:

To demonstrate to clients Kennedys’ in-depth understanding of the impact of any changes to the personal injury discount rate as a result of two Ministry of Justice (MoJ) consultations.

What we did:                                         

The first 12-week consultation announced by the MoJ into the methodology for setting the personal injury discount rate was announced in August 2012. A further 12-week consultation followed in February 2013 to review the legal basis for setting the rate.

Working closely with Kennedys partner Christopher Malla and the firm’s business development team, we created a multi-channel campaign aimed at demonstrating the firm’s in-depth understanding of the impact to clients of any change in the personal injury discount rate.

At launch, informative web pages were set up under the campaign banner Working towards a fair outcome 2012, which included background information about the campaign, a helpful FAQ and all press activity.

A range of timely ‘opinion’ press releases followed throughout, resulting in high-profile press coverage in client media, including a piece in The Times.

Two events were also held during the first consultation. The first, an evening open discussion, chaired by Joshua Rozenberg, for clients and media, featured views from both the defendant and claimant sides on the merits of different approaches to investing personal injury damages. The second event, a closed roundtable breakfast for key clients, was chaired by Christopher Malla and offered specific guidance on responding to the consultation questionnaire, with the help of leading expert Doug Hall of Smith & Williamson.

Both LinkedIn and Twitter were used throughout the campaign; a LinkedIn group was set up to create a forum for general discussion and to answer client questions, while a personal Twitter account was set up for Christopher Malla to promote his leadership of the campaign.

By the time the second consultation to review the legal basis for setting the personal injury discount rate launched in February 2013, we had already agreed to replicate the multi-channel campaign undertaken during the first consultation.

Despite the subject matter of the second consultation being far drier than the first consultation and offering fewer news angles, a steady flow of opportunities ensued and we maintained the same level of media coverage.

Chaired by Mr Justice Turner, an excellent line up was secured for an early evening debate, with Simeon Maskrey QC, head of 7 Bedford Row, and David Westcott QC of Outer Temple Chambers taking the roles of opposing counsel arguing for and against a change in the rate.

A highly proactive approach to Twitter was again taken, led principally by Christopher Malla, with live event updates and valuable connections made.

Based on the levels of client engagement and ensuing media coverage, this campaign proved hugely successful in engaging a range of stakeholders in new and creative ways. No one else in the defendant lobby was as active as Kennedys on this issue.

Christopher Malla, partner of Kennedys, says: “This campaign perfectly demonstrated our leadership and knowledge on a subject of critical importance to our clients. As a result, clients really appreciated the various channels we used to keep them informed and in particular, found the events invaluable in compiling their own consultation responses. For me personally, the campaign was my first foray into Twitter which has been a great way to raise the profile for the firm and has yielded some very useful contacts. The overall results were excellent with consistently good media coverage and strong client engagement throughout. Black Letter Communications demonstrated their ability to work seamlessly as part of our team. We found them responsive and particularly valued Neil’s expert technical writing skills and Kerry’s PR know-how.  Crucially, we enjoyed very much working with them.”

Black Letter Communications is now retained by Kennedys.