ABS-hungry NewLaw eyes more joint ventures

Stock exchange: Redde’s share price on the up

Pioneering law firm NewLaw Solicitors is set to create more alternative business structure (ABS) joint ventures this year, it has emerged.

The firm – which was itself just the fourth ABS to be licensed – already has seven joint ventures, with partners including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and insurer Ageas.

The interim results of Redde plc, the accident management company that owns NewLaw, said today that applications to set up further ABSs with additional partners “are expected to come to fruition in the latter part of 2017”.

The results, covering the second half of 2016, said: “NewLaw has continued to build its range of legal services and has also pursued the additional opportunities available to it. In support of this during the period it has made investment and strengthened its teams in its employment law practice and also in its private client practice dealing with wills, probate and trusts.

“In addition NewLaw has seen further growth in those areas of its practice dealing with employers’ liability and medical negligence, and has increased its professional staff in these areas.

“By their very nature such cases will take longer to settle than PI claims arising from road traffic accidents which now represent a reducing proportion of NewLaw’s business.”

Principia Law, Redde’s specialist credit hire ABS, became a wholly owned subsidiary on 30 June 2016.

Redde told investors: “It has continued to perform well and has made an increased contribution to the group whilst also continuing to provide the group with expertise in relation to credit hire recoveries, particularly those cases requiring more specialist attention.”

The wider group reported good results. Revenues were £227m, up 37.5% on the same time in 2015 – this in part reflects an acquisition made half-way through the 2015 period.

The adjusted earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) for the period were up 16% to £19.8m. Adjusted profit before tax was £19.7m, an increase of 13.8%.

Redde chief executive Martin Ward said: “The strong sales and EBIT increase over the comparable reinforces our position as we deliver our ‘GPS’ (Growth, Profitability and Sustainability) strategy.

“We continue to improve and innovate our services and make investments for future organic growth with further benefits still to be realised. Strong cash generation continues to support a good dividend yield and with significant balance sheet strength corporate growth opportunities continue to be explored. The outlook for the financial year remains positive.”

Redde’s share price has been recovering in recent weeks, from a low of 154p, to 177.5p at the time of writing – they reached a high of 206.5p last September.

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