Interview with Mike Greenstein, partner at Goodge Law
Mike Greenstein, partner in Goodge Law and a specialist in personal injury gives some insights into his job
At the beginning of my career I spent some time doing personal injury work and really enjoyed it. It’s very hands on and people-orientated. I get to deal with a huge variety of different clients and it’s my job to gain their trust. Initially they are nervous and unsure, but over time, the trust builds. When I’ve got an excellent result it’s an incredibly satisfying moment because I know I’ve provided my clients with their last line of legal defence. Despite a battle, the system has given them a fair award.
The thing I dislike most about my job is dealing with awkward opponents and insurance companies that will do anything possible to prevent my clients being given a fair award. Then again it’s my job to protect my clients from that and, although it’s often frustrating, I like to think that I’m good at it.
I became a qualified lawyer in 1996 after three years at university, one year at Law School and two years as a trainee. At that point my training principal said to me, ‘Well done Mike, the real learning starts now,’ and he was right. The moment you think you’ve learnt it all, you actually know nothing.
I remember a case a few years ago when I came up against a talented trainee from a big law firm. I ended up winning the case, but if I’d sat back and thought, ‘he’s a young whippersnapper, I’ve got ten years experience on him,’ then he’d have taken me to the cleaners. Whenever I meet people that are younger than me – but talented – I look to copy some of their strengths and use them in my game.
Personal injury law and the concept of ‘no-win no-fee’ is often misunderstood. The bottom line is this: if someone injures you and prevents you from earning a living and providing for your family, then you need a solicitor like me. I will make sure the insurance companies don’t brush you aside and leave you paying for someone else’s mistake.