Horwich Farrelly at 50: Jessica Chatfield shares her #HFhighlight
This week, in the latest of our series celebrating the achievements of our people in our golden jubilee year, Credit Hire Team Manager, Jessica Chatfield, shares her #HFhighlight.
Credit Hire Team Manager, Jessica Chatfield
When did you start working at Horwich Farrelly?
I started in October 2013 after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in the summer.
Before joining the firm what was your most unusual job?
Whilst I was at university I worked at Subway as a ‘sandwich artist’ – I think I liked the title more than the actual job!
What does a typical day look like for you at Horwich Farrelly?
As I currently manage a team of four people my days can often be quite busy. Our growing Credit Hire department acts for many of the UK’s largest motor insurers dealing with claims from an early stage through to securing the right end result for our clients. A typical day for me contains a mixture of supervision and handling my own caseload of files.
My team will generally focus on negotiating settlement of claims for credit hire; any that can’t be settled will proceed to a court hearing where we see what we can do about getting the claim dismissed due to the claimant’s lack of need for a replacement vehicle or due to the enforceability of the credit hire agreement. Last week one of my team members was successful in having a claim for over £7,000 dismissed due to misrepresentation which was a fantastic result!
I also produce a monthly report for one of our clients which involves gathering information on some of the great results we have achieved recently and highlighting the savings we have made. This allows us to remain open and transparent with the client. It also helps monitor the general progress of the work done for the insurer and suggests areas which can be improved, as well as where we’re performing well. I really enjoy this process – I believe it demonstrates that the general approach to the work that we do for our clients is one of partnership and collaboration.
How has your career progressed since joining the firm?
When I joined the firm I started out in the call centre. This really helped me get to grips with the way our firm operates and I got to know a lot of people spread across all our locations. I then moved onto what is now called our Legal Support Team where I was vetting and opening new instructions.
After a couple of enjoyable years working in a support role I decided to move to the Credit Hire department where I took on a large caseload of pre-litigation files. I decided to move because I already had a working relationship with some of the more senior members of the department from my previous support role. I knew very little about credit hire but fancied a challenge!
Working in the Credit Hire department really helped me develop my negotiation skills and set me on what felt like the right path. I then moved onto handling litigated files where I learned more about the court process and procedures. After just two years in the department all the hard work paid off as I was promoted to Team Manager.
What has been the biggest highlight of your time at Horwich Farrelly?
Being promoted to Team Manager after being with the firm for only four years was definitely a highlight. It really shows how great the opportunities for career progression are here for people who want to develop their skills and move higher up in the company. By the time I was offered the role I felt like the experience I had gained working in different areas of the firm really set me up to perform well, the promotion gave me a lot of confidence and the sense that I was definitely doing something right.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and outside interests?
I confess that I am a binge-watcher of whatever box set is available to me. I love live music and going to gigs, I enjoy singing in general actually – I actually sang to Her Majesty The Queen at a tea party for her 80th birthday. I also have a cat who takes up a lot of time at home.
Jess is a keen singer, and even performed for The Queen’s 80th birthday
What advice would you give to others starting out in their career with the firm?
It doesn’t matter which department you join, you will always have the opportunity to progress within the firm, providing you are committed and work hard!
To see #HFhighlights from other Horwich Farrelly colleagues please click here.