Personal injury lawyer turns dog walker to become Exmouth's Legal Beagle

  Posted: 08.10.19 at 10:38 by Joseph Bulmer

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A lawyer from Exmouth has swapped the courtroom for country lanes and walks on the beach as he starts his own dog walking service in Exmouth.

Paul Ashcroft, aka the Legal Beagle, decided to set up his new dog walking business after becoming a ‘casualty’ in a merger between law firms.

The Personal Injury lawyer is now pursuing his passion for dogs. Paul is fully insured, DBS Certified, happy to walk all breeds and will never walk more than two dogs at the same time.

Exmouth Nub News spoke to the Legal Beagle this week to find out more:

Why did you decide to set up a dog walking business?

“I've been a lawyer now for almost 35 years but have always loved dogs. I was a locum at a firm in Exeter which then merged with another Devon firm. There are always casualties in mergers and I became one of them. My fiancée suggested that it was the right time to grasp the nettle and set up a dog walking business as I'd been thinking of it for some time.

A young Paul with his childhood dog, Tess.

“Clients were then asking me when I told them I was leaving if they could move their files to my new firm but I told them that that wasn't possible as I was going to be dog walking! However as I was then walking my dog in Exmouth I saw a new firm being set up just a minute from home and to cut a long story short I was offered a position there as a consultant. Existing clients then saw the opportunity that I could continue to act for them as well as dog walking and a number of them elected to move their claims with me to my new firm at Berensens.”

How different is dog walking to being a personal injury lawyer?

“Aside from dog walking being an outdoor activity there are surprising similarities! I did not want to join the group of dog walkers who take out six or more dogs at a time - dogs are cherished and loved and deserve a personal service which is why I will only walk two dogs at a time. A personal injury client also deserves a personal service which is why I do not run a volume PI claims factory.

“I don't view my profession as strictly a business, more of a caring profession, as I am motivated by the need to help those who have been injured through no fault of their own. A good PI lawyer will keep the best interests of their clients in mind at all times. A good PI lawyer will also make himself available whenever the client wants advice - I will be available, wherever possible, to help out customers who want assistance with their dog.”

Are you passionate about dogs?

“I think you can ask anyone and you'll get the answer! It's a running joke that, for example, when we're out walking our own dog on the beach she may have walked off with my fiancée following, leaving me "talking" to the dog on the beach that my own dog didn't want to talk to!”

When did you decide to start professionally dog walking?

“It's been something I've been thinking for a while but it was the merged firm letting me go that provided the impetus for me to actually set it up. Every cloud has a silver lining and the great thing is that I'm now able to combine both lawyering and dog walking at the same time.”

What do you offer as a dog walker?

“I offer the usual services of dog walking and also pet sitting but I will only walk two dogs at a time to ensure that a customer's dog gets a proper walk and not simply pulled along with a large pack who all have differing traits and needs.”

If you would like to find out more about the Legal Beagle, please click the red button below.

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