An interview with Paddy Scully: Overcoming financial challenges

whiplash claimants

The most recent recruits to the Recovery First panel are a triumvirate of lawyers who have all experienced their own challenges, which they have worked through and come out the other side stronger and with a clear vision for the future.

In our first interview, we speak to Paddy Scully, of P R Scully, who provide the umbrella under which P R Scully, Capa Law and Susan Hargreaves come together as what we affectionately call ‘Coven Law’.

Entering and exiting a Partnership Voluntary Agreement (PVA)

Paddy explains that in 2014, P R Scully were put under extreme pressure by their bank, which ultimately led to the partnership entering into a Partnership Voluntary Arrangement (‘PVA’) with its creditors.

“Whilst we worked with an excellent team from Leonard Curtis and our supervisors were very supportive and held our hands every step of the way, the process of a PVA is intrusive to the firm and the fee earners, inefficient and disjointed; part of this involved selling a tranche of our multi-track book at a significant discount.

After six months of little sleep and feeling like we had stepped out of the spin cycle of a washing machine, we focussed on building morale and doing what we did best – settling claims for clients with the best possible outcome.

We are very proud that we proved our doubters wrong, worked our way through and successfully exited the PVA creating a strong viable business for the future.”


Advice for law firms struggling financially

“We have learnt many lessons along the way, found out who our friends are and now have strong, stable profitability, produced by our loyal, cohesive team. We would not wish that time on anyone, but if you do find yourself in a similar position, we share these thoughts with you:

– Engage with external advisors early and choose someone you can relate to

– Commit to a plan and stick rigidly to it – don’t let others distract you from your goal

– Don’t let your standards and integrity slip in your dealing with everyone, especially staff and clients

But most of all, keep faith in yourselves and keep smiling!”

How Recovery First can help law firms in similar situations

P R Scully’s experience, and those of the other ‘witches in the Coven’ provide them with very personal insights into how to reassure and retain clients through periods of uncertainty and produce some of the best retention rates across the Recovery First panel.

‘Having direct experience of how a Recovery First project works from the view of a panel firm, if we had known back in 2014 what we know now, then working with them alongside our PVA supervisor would have been a far simpler, less stressful process and provided us with a fairer split of the returns for our hard-earned WIP’ Paddy reflects, ‘particularly important when personal guarantees are at stake’.

Knowing the worry that changes in the structure of a law firm can cause to its clients, the Recovery First model puts the client as well as the law firm at the heart of the process. Recovery First promote a respectful approach with clients to the changes in the donor firm. Paddy reflected, “it was very important to me that my professional reputation was intact at the end of the process, and I have now experienced first-hand that the Recovery First model achieves this for the firms they work with.”

Questions you will want answers to:

What happens with the SRA?

When should we start speaking to them?

When are they likely to intervene?

Will I be able to continue to practice? What impact might it have on my practicing certificate?

What happens to the staff?

Will they get made redundant and receive redundancy pay?

What is the RPO?

How do I get the best value for my WIP?

How do I find the right advisors?

What are my alternatives, and what do they mean for me personally and the firm?


Recovery First can provide you with answers to all of the above questions, and we guarantee 100% confidentiality for all clients. If you would like to speak to someone about your options, feel free to get in touch today via email at, or 07887796989, or contact Sally Dunscombe at or 01357 440140.

It's never too late to speak to Recovery First. Contact us now in the strictest confidence

Sally Dunscombe:

David Johnstone:


01357 440140

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