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Investigator arranges sucessful charity golf day

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

We are pleased to announce that one of our investigators, John Greetham recently organised a very well supported charity golf day.

 

John was joined by over 50 other golfers one Saturday recently to raise money in aid of St. Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley and Winston’s Wish a charity which provides support to bereaved children, young people and their families throughout the UK.

£2500 was raised on the day with £2000 going to St. Catherine’s and the balance going to Winston’s Wish who are going to use the money to train a teacher at a local school in bereavement counselling.

 

We congratulate John on his sterling efforts and hope that with his new found talent for event management he can organise some events for GH Consultants in the future.  Watch this space!

 

GH Consultants Spring Quiz

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Our Special April 1st Quiz with a prize (small) to the first person with all the right answers

 

Question 1   Burke and Hare were

1 Process servers

2 Body snatchers

3 Accident investigators

 

Question 2    The official national language of India is

1 Hindi

2 Legalese

3 Punjabi

 

Question 3   To return to the Enterprise Captain Kirk had to say

1 A single to orbit please

2 Beam me up Scotty

3 Transport one captain and two bit part actors please

 

Question 4   In the First World War the enemy was called “The Hun”.  Where did the Huns come from?

1 Hungary

2 Germany (near Prussia)

3 Hungerford

 

Question 5    If you shout “Mush” to a Husky dog what are you telling it to do?

1 Run

2 Stop

3 Fetch my slippers

 

Question 6   The Christmas Carol “Silent Night” was first played on a guitar as something had happened in the church. What had happened?

1 The church organ had been damaged by mice

2 The organist had suffered a fall and broken his hand

3 Snow was blocking the organ pipes

 

Question 7   T.E.Lawrence, usually known as Lawrence of Arabia, having survived the war in the Middle East was killed in Dorset.  How?

1 Fell from a ladder

2 Car crash

3 Struck by lighting

 

Question 8   The machine used to re-start a human heart that has ceased to beat is called a

1 Defibrillator

2 Cardiometer

3 Ventriculator

 

Question 9   In the Sherlock Holmes books what sort of hat does he wear?

1 Top hat

2 Deerstalker

3 Bowler hat

 

Question 10  After the end of World War 2 many foods continued to be rationed.  When did fish and chips come off rationing?

1 1946

2 1951

3 1954

 

Once you have the right answers you can contact us here.  If you enter, don’t forget to also like this post on either the Geoden Agency Facebook Page or the Herdens Facebook Page to be entered in for a second chance to win!

Red Nose Day 2011

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

 

To support Red Nose Day this year, the staff in the office all made an effort and dressed in red.  They also enjoyed some lovely red nose cakes which had been cooked by Kathryn.

Technology and how we use it

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I was planning a route to a court hearing the other day and suddenly realised how easy my life was with the internet on call 24/7 to allow me to compare different forms of travel, check times and costs, as well as booking train tickets and seats if necessary.

It made me think how different it was not so long ago.  When I was younger and before I started my firm, Herdens, which subsequently merged with my parents business, Geoden Agency, I can remember my Father planning routes to interviews and locus sites all around the country, just using a map and his general knowledge.

I used to accompany him on some of these trips and can remember what an exciting day it was when he got an analogue mobile phone, so that we were able to keep everyone updated with our current location and expected arrival time.  Now I naturally carry a mobile phone with me all the time, but I also often carry a laptop equipped with mobile broadband so that I can access the internet and keep up with my e-mails wherever I might be.

With my laptop, I am able to call on people to take statements and type it up in front of them and allow them to proof read it there and then.  This is compared with the old system of handwritten statements where the handwriting had to be deciphered by the interviewee, before the statement was typed up in the office and carried back and forth by post.  Where telephone statements are taken the draft can be e-mailed to the relevant person, allowing them to make on screen corrections instead of untidy handwritten corrections, before returning the pristine signed copy.

Locus reports are a whole different ball game now as well.  Previously they were all taken with either a point and shoot or SLR camera using film.  Settings had to be adjusted to take into account light levels and you were never sure of the outcome until the film was processed which could take some time and would increase our charges.  Now all locus reports are carried out using a digital camera where the images can be previewed before leaving the site to ensure that all angles and relevant points have been covered.

Other things have also moved on significantly.  Although we still receive many of our instructions by post, we also receive many by e-mail.  Any paper files are scanned on to our central server along with all outgoing letters etc.  Staff members can then access the server from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection, allowing them to promptly deal with queries and check up on relevant information.

Our desire to move with the times in terms of technology will not be stopping any time soon, as we truly believe that it brings efficiencies to us and benefits to our clients, not the least us being able to keep our fees to a reasonable level.

We are currently trialling a small body worn camera which amongst other things will allow us to record process serves for our own protection and to avoid any attempts to deny receipt of the papers.  In the near future I am looking at upgrading my current mobile phone to a new generation smart phone which will allow me to access many features of my laptop from my pocket.  We are also investigating the possibility of using iPad’s or similar as a lightweight way of carrying electronic files which would save the need to print files out where they were originally received electronically.

The other thing worth adding is that where we do not have the technology to hand, we probably know someone who does.  Through other professional private investigators and technology professionals, we have access to items such as covert trackers, covert cameras, some with remote viewing and other “James Bond” type devices.

was planning a route to a court hearing the other day and suddenly realised how easy my life was with the internet on call 24/7 to allow me to compare different forms of travel, check times and costs, as well as booking train tickets and seats if necessary.

 

It made me think how different it was not so long ago. When I was younger and before I started my firm, Herdens, which subsequently merged with my parents business, Geoden Agency, I can remember my father planning routes to interviews and locus sites all around the country, just using a map and his general knowledge.

 

I used to accompany him on some of these trips and can remember what an exciting day it was when he got an analogue mobile phone, so that we were able to keep everyone updated with our current location and expected arrival time. Now I naturally carry a mobile phone with me all the time, but I also often carry a laptop equipped with mobile broadband so that I can access the internet and keep up with my e-mails wherever I might be.

 

With my laptop, I am able to call on people to take statements and type it up in front of them and allow them to proof read it there and then. This is compared with the old system of handwritten statements where the handwriting had to be deciphered by the interviewee, before the statement was typed up in the office and carried back and forth by post. Where telephone statements are taken the draft can be e-mailed to the relevant person, allowing them to make on screen corrections instead of untidy handwritten corrections, before returning the pristine signed copy.

 

Locus reports are a whole different ball game now as well. Previously they were all taken with either a point and shoot or SLR camera using film. Settings had to be adjusted to take into account light levels and you were never sure of the outcome until the film was processed which could take some time and would increase our charges. Now all locus reports are carried out using a digital camera where the images can be previewed before leaving the site to ensure that all angles and relevant points have been covered.

 

Other things have also moved on significantly. Although we still receive many of our instructions by post, we also receive many by e-mail. Any paper files are scanned on to our central server along with all outgoing letters etc. Staff members can then access the server from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection, allowing them to promptly deal with queries and check up on relevant information.

 

Our desire to move with the times in terms of technology will not be stopping any time soon, as we truly believe that it brings efficiencies to us and benefits to our clients, not the least us being able to keep our fees to a reasonable level.

 

We are currently trialling a small body worn camera which amongst other things will allow us to record process serves for our own protection and to avoid any attempts to deny receipt of the papers. In the near future I am lookin

I was planning a route to a court hearing the other day and suddenly realised how easy my life was with the internet on call 24/7 to allow me to compare different forms of travel, check times and costs, as well as booking train tickets and seats if necessary.

It made me think how different it was not so long ago.  When I was younger and before I started my firm, Herdens, which subsequently merged with my parents business, Geoden Agency, I can remember my father planning routes to interviews and locus sites all around the country, just using a map and his general knowledge.

I used to accompany him on some of these trips and can remember what an exciting day it was when he got an analogue mobile phone, so that we were able to keep everyone updated with our current location and expected arrival time.  Now I naturally carry a mobile phone with me all the time, but I also often carry a laptop equipped with mobile broadband so that I can access the internet and keep up with my e-mails wherever I might be.

With my laptop, I am able to call on people to take statements and type it up in front of them and allow them to proof read it there and then.  This is compared with the old system of handwritten statements where the handwriting had to be deciphered by the interviewee, before the statement was typed up in the office and carried back and forth by post.  Where telephone statements are taken the draft can be e-mailed to the relevant person, allowing them to make on screen corrections instead of untidy handwritten corrections, before returning the pristine signed copy.

Locus reports are a whole different ball game now as well.  Previously they were all taken with either a point and shoot or SLR camera using film.  Settings had to be adjusted to take into account light levels and you were never sure of the outcome until the film was processed which could take some time and would increase our charges.  Now all locus reports are carried out using a digital camera where the images can be previewed before leaving the site to ensure that all angles and relevant points have been covered.

Other things have also moved on significantly.  Although we still receive many of our instructions by post, we also receive many by e-mail.  Any paper files are scanned on to our central server along with all outgoing letters etc.  Staff members can then access the server from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection, allowing them to promptly deal with queries and check up on relevant information.

Our desire to move with the times in terms of technology will not be stopping any time soon, as we truly believe that it brings efficiencies to us and benefits to our clients, not the least us being able to keep our fees to a reasonable level.

We are currently trialling a small body worn camera which amongst other things will allow us to record process serves for our own protection and to avoid any attempts to deny receipt of the papers.  In the near future I am looking at upgrading my current mobile phone to a new generation smart phone which will allow me to access many features of my laptop from my pocket.  We are also investigating the possibility of using iPad’s or similar as a lightweight way of carrying electronic files which would save the need to print files out where they were originally received electronically.

The other thing worth adding is that where we do not have the technology to hand, we probably know someone who does.  Through other professional private investigators and technology professionals, we have access to items such as covert trackers, covert cameras, some with remote viewing and other “James Bond” type devices.

g at upgrading my current mobile phone to a new generation smart phone which will allow me to access many features of my laptop from my pocket. We are also investigating the possibility of using iPad’s or similar as a lightweight way of carrying electronic files which would save the need to print files out where they were originally received electronically.

 

The other thing worth adding is that where we do not have the technology to hand, we probably know someone who does. Through other professional private investigators and technology professionals, we have access to items such as covert trackers, covert cameras, some with remote viewing and other “James Bond” type devices.

Out and About – Mercedes Benz World @ Brooklands

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Although I can’t profess to being a “car nut”, I do appreciate nice cars and have developed a very good knowledge of different cars through carrying out motor claims investigations and credit hire claim investigations.

Recently when myself and my partner had a unusual free weekend, we decided that we would take a trip to Mercedes Benz World at the old Brooklands Circuit, not too far from our Berkshire office.

We arrived just in time to watch a display from the AMG saloons and estates on the skid pan and track which was set out with fantastic views from the ground and also from upper levels of the main building.

Mercedes AMG Display Team at Mercedes Benz World

We then continued round to inspect some of the other displays which included some audio visual exhibits and historic vehicles, but was mostly just the current range of Mercedes vehicles.

A Mercedes SCL600 Concept Car at Mercedes Benz World

We took the chance to sit in as many as possible and my partner experiment with the features and settings whilst I took mental notes for future reference.  Hopefully I won’t ever have to deal with a motor insurance claim investigation relating to damage caused to someone’s pride and joy Mercedes, especially with some models worth £150,000 upwards.

McLaren Mercedes SLR at Mercedes Benz World

We are looking forward to returning some time in future to take one of the driving experiences which range from driving one of the AMG models to off road driving.  We might also take one of the younger family members for a Kid’s driving experience.

All in all it was a very enjoyable visit, especially since there was no entry charge.

Out and About – The Stanley Clock, South Norwood

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Not so long ago we had instructions to trace a witness in Holmesdale Road, South London.  Nothing unusual in that, we do plenty of work tracing various people and this one just involved a trip up to Norwood Junction railway station so a relatively simple journey from our Haywards Heath, Sussex office.

Upon arrival at the station I had to exit into the imaginatively named “Station Road” (those Victorian street planners did not exactly overstretch themselves although I guess “it does what is says on the packet”).  Just before one reaches Selhurst Road you see something a bit out of the ordinary, a small cast-iron clock tower standing in the roadway.  Despite its relatively modest size it is quite a splendid structure much resembling a younger relative of the clock tower on the Houses of Parliament commonly known as Big Ben.

Stanley Clocktower, South Norwood

I usually carry a camera for my locus shots so I took a picture out of curiosity and decided to find out a little more about this quaint structure.  Needless to say, I turned to the internet and found that the clock was a commemoration of the Golden Wedding of William and Eliza Stanley and constructed in 1907.  Now the name Stanley might ring a bell with those DIYers out there as William was an engineer, mainly self-taught, and many of the tools we now use bear his company’s name.  His abilities and skills were many and varied and he even forecast that in the future we would travel by train under the Channel and use cards instead of money.

William was a great local philanthropist providing the nearby Stanley Halls and, a few years later, the Stanley Technical School.  Sadly the halls, which are in local authority hands, have suffered from vandalism and are no longer as impressive as they once were.  The clock however, which was paid for by public subscription, is in fine condition and a fitting tribute to a man ahead of his times – William Ford Robinson Stanley 1829-1909.

Perhaps that moment of apparently idle curiosity in a South London street was not wasted after all.

Famous Anniversaries, an occasional series – No.27 Alf Boons

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Sadly today (1st April 2010) there will be few people celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of the insurance world’s greatest innovators, Alf Boons, who was believed to be the creator of the “no claims discount”.  Alf was born “Alphonse” in Paris to French parents, ironically bearing the surname Bonusse, although they anglicised their name when they moved to Mucking in Essex a few years later.  As a child growing up in Essex the young Bonusse soon decided that he was Alf and not Alphonse thus avoiding numerous beatings from his fun-loving schoolmates.

When Alf left school he tried several jobs until he found his way into insurance and showed a flair for the business.  His abilities enabled him to reach a point here he became chief underwriter for one of the Lloyds syndicates and it is believed that the “NCD” was one of his marketing ploys during that period.  Certainly Alf made no attempts to deny the story.

He retired early after a disastrous accident involving a tea trolley* in the early 60s and he and his wife, former socialite Lavinia Smallpiece, settled down in the picturesque village of Basingstoke.  During this time, Alf’s creative streak did not leave him and there are stories of his invention of the instant self-portrait camera.  Sadly, no examples of this clever device, known as the Hashlee, are in existence after an incident in which Alf is believed to have sent pictures of himself to a pretty neighbour.  Lavinia is said to have smashed the camera over Alf’s head and then destroyed the plans at which point Alf lost interest (and consciousness).

A few months after the unfortunate Hashlee incident the Boons decided to move and chose to go to France, Alf’s birthplace.  Alf was still a wealthy man and the couple bought an old mansion on the Seine where Alf could practise his angling and the house was re-named “Poisson d’Avril”.  For many years Alf was a common sight wandering the area and practising his angling in secluded pools.

Tragically Alf died in 1982 as a result of hypothermia caused by frequent exposure to the elements whilst angling.  He was buried in the churchyard of the 13th century church of Saint Avril Premier in the nearby village of Tirer les Jambes.  A small plaque now adorns the front of the last home of Alphonse Bonusse.

* Tea trolley – a means by which staff could be supplied with refreshments at their desk.  The trolleys were often overloaded leading to many accidents in which staff sustained injuries from luke warm tea  inundation and wagon wheel schrapnel.

Press release announcing the merger of Geoden Agency and Herdens

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

As an initial introduction, below is a copy of the press release which announced the merger of Geoden Agency and Herdens to form GH Consultants Ltd at the beginning of 2010

Geoden Agency and Herdens merge to form GH Consultants Limited

(1st December 2009)  The existing successful legal agencies, Geoden Agency and Herdens are today announcing their intention to merge as from the 1st January 2010.  The two firms have worked together for a number of years and see this as an opportunity to rationalise operations and administration whilst providing the opportunity to expand in to new business areas.

The new firm will be known as GH Consultants Ltd, although the existing trading titles will be retained.  Geoden Agency will continue to build on over 20 years of accident and insurance investigations, whilst Herdens will handle the firms’ tracing, process serving and other investigation tasks.

As part of this exciting development, the existing Haywards Heath office in Sussex will be relocated within the town to allow for an expansion of staff numbers to support the two agencies’ increasing workload.  This will then become the main administration office for the merged business, with a satellite office being retained in Bracknell, Berkshire.

Geoff Dent, Senior Partner at Geoden Agency said “Having spent several years in managerial positions with insurers and law firms I originally saw a need for a quality investigation service covering the South East of England.  Within 5 years we had expanded operations across the country and are looking at continuing growth some 20 years later.  Due to demand from our clients we need to expand so here we go into a new and exciting chapter.”

About Geoden Agency:

Geoden Agency was founded in 1989 by Geoff Dent.  Geoff has over 30 years experience of handling insurance and accident claims, including spells with the London Transport Executive, Lloyds syndicates and law firms based in the City and the North of England.  Geoden Agency specialises in accident investigations with a particular interest in motor insurance claims.  In recent years the firm has become know for its work investigating credit hire claims.  Geoden Agency currently operates from offices in Haywards Heath, Sussex which will be relocated as described above.  Haywards Heath is conveniently located a short distance from London and the M25 near Gatwick Airport.

About Herdens:

Herdens was founded in 2007 by Chris Dent, son of Geoff Dent.  Chris has worked within the insurance industry for the majority of his working life, including roles in underwriting, administration, marketing, compliance and debt recovery.  Herdens has become known for its nationwide process serving operation offering cost effective solutions to solicitors, government bodies and other firms and organisations.  This is backed-up by associated services such as tracing and general investigations.  The firm operates from an office in Bracknell, Berkshire, which will become the satellite office for the new merged business.

For more information please contact:

Geoff Dent, Senior Partner of Geoden Agency – 01444 453355 – geoff.dent@geoden.co.uk

Chris Dent, Principal of Herdens – 0845 486 0073 – chris.dent@herdens.co.uk

P.O. Box 248, Haywards Heath, RH16 3GJ.

New blog launched for GH Consultants Ltd

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Welcome to the first entry in the new GH Consultants, Legal Agents blog.

One of our constituent firms, Herdens originally had a blog which was infrequently updated, however we hope that following the merger between Herdens and Geoden Agency, with increasing staff numbers, we can provide regular, relevant and interesting updates to this blog.  The original Herdens blog will be left where it is, but no longer updated.

We hope that you will find our efforts interesting and we look forward to receiving your comments.  If there is any topic you would like to see covered, then please do not hesitate to contact us.