Leading ABSs take next steps forward

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2 September 2013


Kinsella: strategic growth strategy

Slater & Gordon has now formally acquired personal injury firm Goodmans, giving the alternative business structure (ABS) a Liverpool base for the first time.

Goodmans Law, which has specialist expertise in brain and spinal injuries and claims arising from problems at birth, has 36 staff and a turnover of £3.4m.

The exact purchase price is not clear, although working from various figures released by Slater & Gordon to the Australian stock exchange in recent weeks, it would appear to be around £5-6m.

The average multiple of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) applied to its three immediate acquisitions – Taylor Vinters’ personal injury practice (completed last month), Goodmans and, next month, Fentons – is 4.3. This compares to 4.9 when Russell Jones & Walker was bought last year.

Slater & Gordon CEO Neil Kinsella said: “Today’s acquisition is part of our continued strategic growth strategy and will help Slater & Gordon to become one of the UK’s leading law firms.”

Ian Cohen, Goodmans Law director said: “This is a great day for the clients, staff and directors of Goodmans Law. We are delighted to be joining forces with Slater & Gordon. Together we look forward to using our enlarged size to help even more people gain justice and the compensation they are entitled to.”

Meanwhile, fellow ABS Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has launched the online academy it first announced in February, working in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

Incorporating CLS’s existing apprenticeship scheme and MMU’s postgraduate programmes, employees will be able to access a career pathway that will enable them to progress from an apprentice to a qualified lawyer during their employment. CLS – which aims to have 3,500 staff by 2017 – says its approach will open up entry to the law.

The academy will offer qualifications through the likes of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and the Chartered Insurance Institute.

CLS said it is creating career and development pathways, through the academy, for all legal, managerial and business support roles. Movement through these pathways will be assessed on individual performance and success rather than length of service.

The academy will also work with trainee solicitors after 10 members of the CLS team were awarded training contracts – six of whom start today.

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