Horwich Farrelly at 50: Kathryn Dingley shares her #HFhighlight
This week, in the latest of our series celebrating the achievements of our people in our golden jubilee year, newly-qualified Solicitor, Kathryn Dingley, shares her #HFhighlight.
Solicitor, Kathryn Dingley
When did you start working at Horwich Farrelly?
I joined in October 2015.
Before joining the firm what was your most unusual job?
I once worked at a Clarks shoe shop in Llandudno, North Wales. The oddest part was having to dress up as their mascot, Jack Nano, where I had to dance around outside the shop to encourage children and their parents to come in. Looking back I actually quite enjoyed it!
What does a typical day look like for you at Horwich Farrelly?
It really does vary. The type of work I deal with includes staged accidents, slam-ons and fraud rings which, if undetected, can cost insurers tens of millions. In a typical day I might be attending court to give instructions to barristers, drafting court documents or attending strategy meetings with clients.
I also spend a lot of time on the phone talking to policyholders who may have found themselves a victim of opportunistic fraud. As you can imagine it can be quite distressing being in this situation so it’s important that I keep them informed about the progress of their case, and provide reassurance that we’re doing everything possible to stamp out fraudulent or exaggerated claims.
I also work closely with our Intelligence Services team, who will look for discrepancies on, say, Facebook and Twitter to build up a case against suspect individuals. When so many people are posting online every day it’s amazing how much information is often publicly available which contradicts a claimant’s version of events.
How has your career progressed since joining the firm?
I originally started as a Legal Research Assistant in the Business Development & Marketing team, having just completed my law degree at the University of Liverpool. I really enjoyed the role, which involved monitoring legal developments, and updating lawyers about new legislation.
Around six months into the role I was approached to join the Fraud Causation team as a Litigation Executive where I’d be looking at low speed incidents. It was a great opportunity to be more hands-on and one I couldn’t turn down. Then in September 2017 I moved into a more specialist role within the Complex Fraud team and, around the same time, was offered a training contract.
Horwich Farrelly is unusual in that training contracts are only offered to existing employees. One of the benefits is that as you’ve already gained experience of managing cases that you can qualify as a solicitor in 18 months, rather than the two years it usually takes.
What has been the biggest highlight of your time at Horwich Farrelly?
Without a doubt it was passing my training contract two weeks ago and qualifying as a Solicitor. I’m really looking forward to watching my career grow at the firm.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and outside interests?
I’m a keen runner and often combine my love with supporting good causes. Outside of my legal role I’m a member of the firm’s Charity Committee, and last year I ran the Manchester half marathon for Shelter raising £400 for the charity.
I’m also a bit of a gin snob so love sampling new varieties, including violet, chilli and seaweed flavours. The only one (so far) that I’ve not enjoyed was a tomato juice version!
2019 Charity Committee, Kathryn (pictured standing far right) is a member of the committee and is regularly involved with fundraising events.
What makes working at Horwich Farrelly different from other firms?
Everyone, at all levels, is friendly and approachable. Hard work is expected but the atmosphere is pretty relaxed, and you can expect to be treated like an adult.
I’m occasionally surprised at how much responsibility I’ve been given but I’ve shown that, like everyone else who’s progressed with the firm, that if you take up the opportunity and excel you will be rewarded. It’s because of this approach that I’ve gone from being a being a very shy girl from North Wales to a much more outgoing and confident person.
What advice would you give to others starting out in their career with the firm?
Immerse yourself and say yes to as much as possible. Be enthusiastic. Ask questions and be willing to learn.
To see #HFhighlights from other Horwich Farrelly colleagues please click here.