National accident specialists Winn Solicitors saw substantial growth throughout 2016 with an influx of recruits increasing its workforce to almost 380 across the group.
The firm is gearing up for further success after securing an eight-figure refinancing deal from NatWest last year, to drive its growth and acquisition strategy and, among other achievements, the launch of the group’s The Law Superstore in August.
The first fixed-price comparison site for the legal profession, The Law Superstore was conceived on the idea of providing a cutting-edge legal comparison service permitting customers and businesses to access fixed pricing, capped pricing and set hourly rates for specific legal services, while encouraging law firms to take a more commercial approach to pricing.
The launch occurred simultaneously with the identification from the Legal Services Board (LSB) of a need to create a more transparent experience for customers seeking legal services.
The company’s launch coincided with the LSB’s discovery of this dormant legal market and works to provide customers with an unrivalled service, enabling comparison of over 130 legal services across 12 different areas – instantly.
Managing Director Jeff Winn said: “It’s certainly been a great year for the firm in terms of expansion and acquiring more business across all of the group’s entities.
“The launch of The Law Superstore in particular is a tremendous achievement for the group and we’re excited to see what 2017 has in store. At present, we have 110 firms signed up with a view for four times that in the coming months, as the business responds to customer demands and meets market needs.”
Perhaps one of the group’s biggest successes of 2016 was the ground-breaking changes the firm has made to the personal injury sector. Winn Solicitors took two major cases to the Court of Appeal earlier this year, triumphing in both of them. These successful appeals have helped to pave the way for claimant solicitors while shaping the industry in a positive way and continually supporting access to justice for innocent victims of personal injury.
The confidence and expertise that the firm has shown, not only in these two high-profile cases, but for its other work in the industry, was recognised at this year’s Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards in November. The firm, which was up against companies across the country, was singled out for special commendation at the London-based awards, to recognise its achievements and was awarded the prestigious ‘Outstanding Achievement of the Year’ award.
The company has also had several large B2B contract wins recently, including a significant partnership with Collingwood Business Solutions Ltd. The specialist service provider to the insurance sector has appointed Winns to be the first point of contact for customers logging new claims. Working closely and in tandem with Collingwood’s technical claims management team based in North Shields, the new partnership is likely to see many new jobs created in the region as both companies continue to expand.
Sales Director at Winns, Chris Birkett, said: “This is a significant account for Winns and is testament to the service we have provided to the insurance sector and their clients following a road traffic accident. To be recognised by Collingwood and chosen to operate their first notification of loss is no small feat and a huge achievement.”
CEO at Collingwood Steve Welton said: “Winns has a sound track record in providing an efficient, first-class accident management service to its customers, with excellent customer service and efficient operations and procedures in mind at all times. The firm’s core values and beliefs are parallel to that of Collingwood’s, and I’m confident for a positive future from the partnership.”
Alongside the success of Winn Solicitors, the group’s On Medical became one of the top nine medico legal agencies within the UK when it made the landmark move from tier two to tier one status in the MedCo Portal – the first ever medical agency to make this move.
The firm’s Commercial Director, Ian Scanlan, explains what this means in terms of growth: “We started out as a small, internal medical agency. Following changes within the industry, we are now a client-facing agency with a huge capacity for growth and investment in our region.
“Within a year of the introduction of MedCo, we have seen our instructions increase by almost 1,000%.”
Contributing to the group’s growth is On Hire, which is a market-leading supplier of replacement vehicles and repair management solutions. It was listed as one of the region’s 50 fastest-growing companies in 2016, in a list put together by law firm Ward Hadaway. The list identifies and celebrates the success of rapidly expanding and profitable companies in the North East.
Despite the uncertainty that the proposed legal changes currently have on the personal injury industry, business continues to thrive for the North East’s legal giant, and the firm is excited to see what 2017 has in store.