“Corporate America is all about profit over people and we won’t stop until we get those people justice.” So says Glen Ged, the founding partner of Ged Lawyers, the family business he founded more than 25 years ago. “We are innovative and entrepreneurial, but we are mainly concerned with changing the perception of lawyers.”
Since its launch in 1995, Ged has successfully claimed $570 million on behalf of clients, specializing in helping doctors who have been scammed by insurance companies. Insurers routinely underpay practitioner claims when seeking reimbursement for the treatments they have provided to their policyholders, Ged explains; they assume that no one will make a claim against them for what is usually a small amount of money for the individual practitioner, even though this widespread practice brings a significant windfall for them. “A lot of practitioners just drop this because they don’t know how to challenge it,” he says.
In that sense, Ged Lawyers has become the bane of these insurers’ lives. In its early years, it gradually built up its case load, with Ged finding that while he was only claiming relatively insignificant amounts for each claim, the courts would still order insurers to pay its own costs in full. That made it profitable to pursue even the tiniest claims against insurers, a gap in the market that other law firms had failed to notice.
More recently, Ged has developed its own technology to develop this business on an industrial scale. Using specially developed software, it can automatically work through a practitioner’s records to identify any deficiencies for which compensation could be due. The fact that the courts are now accepting filings online — and that Ged Lawyers moved to a paperless office in 2008 — also streamlines the process. Today, the company is able to file thousands of claims against insurers every month.
“There is a huge opportunity in the legal profession to focus on innovation and new technology,” says Ged. “We’re a lot less advanced in that regard than most other industries, but my own company’s experience just proves what’s possible.”
Indeed. The exploitation of technology has enabled Ged Lawyers to fuel its growth. The company’s revenues have increased by 99% in the past three years and the workforce has nearly doubled. The staff works from 10 offices in Florida, but Ged is targeting new offices in several other states — and its embrace of technology has made the shift to remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic relatively painless.
“I always intended to build a law firm that operates much more like a business and that runs the same way as a business from day to day,” Ged says, arguing that the traditional partnership model, which the legal profession dominates in many countries, countries, feels more and more outdated.
That said, Ged insists that his mission is to tackle big business. His search for insurance companies, powered by the company’s business model, is a prime example of this. “It gives clients access to legal representation they could not otherwise afford, leveling the playing field,” he says. “It’s an approach that fits my own personality and I realized early on that I could make a real difference.”
Part of the challenge, Ged adds, is to be more open and transparent in an industry that is sometimes seen as not always in the best interests of customers.
Here too, technological innovation has played a key role. Ged Lawyers has built an online portal for clients that allows them to check in at any time on how their case is being handled – current status, amounts recovered, and so on. “The biggest complaint about many lawyers is that they are very bad at communicating, so we thought this could make a huge difference,” he says.
The future for technology-based law firms is bright, says Ged. His own company continues to file claims against insurers on behalf of physicians, but is also active in areas such as accident, wrongful death, class action lawsuits and natural disaster compensation. A notable example is the company’s recent role in helping Hurricane Sandy victims obtain compensation.
It’s a career that Ged himself has come full circle. He started his office after several years in private practice, including a well-paying job at a leading corporate law firm. “It just wasn’t for me,” he says. “I didn’t feel close enough to the customers.”