Latest legal PLC says PI reforms will be good for business


Stock exchange: Shares up on first trading

The newest legal business to list on the stock exchange saw its shares rise 7.5% on admission yesterday as it predicted that, unlike many smaller law firms, it would benefit from the government’s proposed personal injury reforms.

Anexo Group brings together a credit hire business and a 200-strong Liverpool law firm now called Bond Turner. It was previously Armstrongs.

The group, which is valued at £110m, raised £25m from the listing, £10m of which is going to the selling shareholders, and its 100p shares closed trading yesterday at 107.5p.

In the admission document, the group said that, once the reforms were implemented, “the inability to recover their legal costs from the third-party insurers is likely to lead to many legal services firms stopping their credit hire and personal injury work, moving into new areas of law or running off existing cases”.

It continued: “The directors are of the view that the changes in the Civil Liability Bill will benefit the group.

“Since most of its claims are in excess of £10,000, the small claims limit will have a limited effect while the new limits on PI claims will probably result in a large number of small solicitors leaving this area of practice, resulting in increased opportunity for the group.”

Anexo’s credit hire business, now called Edge, is a direct capture model that feeds the law firm.

“The group’s integrated service helps the group to maintain quality at each stage and effectively manage the process with a legal division motivated to recover the credit hire charges for the benefit of the wider group,” the admission document said.

“The group is not (unlike most participants in the sector) reliant on generating personal injury claims that may not be cost effective to process on a standalone basis.

“However, the group is able to increase fees recovered as part of a core credit hire claim by also processing associated PI claims.

“The group is also independent of insurers and other third-party capture suppliers and is able to set hire rates at full commercial credit hire rates.”

Anexo also said that it currently has a case portfolio of in excess of 18,000 unsettled claims, which equated to over five years of work for Bond Turner.

“This backlog of cases remain capable of settlement and, with increased processing capacity as a result of the funds raised pursuant to admission, presents a significant source of potential profit and cash generation for the group.”

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Our latest special report, produced in association with Temple Legal Protection, looks at the role of after-the-event (ATE) insurance in commercial litigation post-LASPO. We are at a time when insurers, solicitors, clients and litigation funders work ever more closely to create funding packages that work for all of them, with conditional fee and even damages-based agreements now part of many law firms’ armoury.

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