Slater & Gordon, Irwin Mitchell and Minster Law “will be the PI winners”

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21 July 2014


Chart and coins

Law firms “tend to take short-term profits”

The “top three winners” from personal injury market consolidation will be Slater & Gordon, Irwin Mitchell and Minster Law, a leading defendant insurer has predicted.

David Fisher, catastrophic and injury claims technical manager at Axa Insurance, added the names of Quindell and New Law as possible rivals to the top three.

He said Minster Law, which earlier this month opened a travel claims department, had “come from left field” but “we are seeing them more and more”.

Mr Fisher predicted that if American consumer law firm Jacoby & Meyers came to the UK, “it would dwarf Slater & Gordon”.

Speaking at last week’s Jaggards and Taylor Rose Law costs and litigation conference, Mr Fisher compared the Mitchell ruling to the B52 Mitchell bomber from the Second World War, which had the reputation of “bombing both sides”.

He warned: “Mitchell will have an effect on this year’s professional indemnity renewals. A number of firms had to exit the market last year on the back of not being able to pay their premiums. What will happen this year?”

Mr Fisher described law firms as “notoriously bad at having a business plan” and said they tended to take short-term profits while they could, without having a strategy for the future.

“I think we will see more consolidation,” Mr Fisher said. “The more intelligent law firms are dumbing down. Most personal injury claims are a commodity and don’t require a great amount of law.”

Mr Fisher labelled the traditional partnership model for law firms as “very inefficient” but he said insurers were also under pressure. “There is immense pressure on all insurers to demonstrate, on the back of the so-called whiplash reforms, that premiums will fall.”

He called on both sides of the personal injury world, defendant and claimant, to support the multi-track code, a joint industry initiative. “We must support the multi-track code or it will reflect badly on all of us,” Mr Fisher said.

He added that although the reform focus was on high-volume whiplash cases, the smaller number of top end personal injury claims represented 80% of insurers’ spend.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Slater & Gordon, Irwin Mitchell and Minster Law “will be the PI winners””

  1. Well, let’s face it, this is like what happened to the insurance market, massive consolidation, IM, S&G and Minster are all looking to get a share of the consumer market. The big the difference presently is that Minster is more focussed on their market, while IM and S&G have more offerings, which prove to be positive or negative?

    Interesting that quite a few people from Pannone have re-surfaced at Minster, perhaps that is why they are starting to be more visible, Pannone were very good a punching above their weight, especially with online marketing.

  2. Ian Richardson on July 21st, 2014 at 8:37 pm
  3. I personally believe that it will be a clean fight between IM and S&G, Mr Richardson you might be right, S&G have got the Pannone marketing team and they are now out performing IM online.

    Minster now they need to improve the digital visibility and it’s well known they are speaking to online agency Stickeyeys, who made their legal name making IM the online masters for a few years. Still think it will be IM and S&G left standing unless Minster poach the S&G team, not going to happen.

  4. Rachel Jackson on July 30th, 2014 at 8:43 pm

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