PI firm struck down by whiplash reforms sold in pre-pack deal

Powell: New owners in good position

Another law firm to suffer following the 2021 whiplash reforms has been sold in a pre-pack administration deal to a firm that itself has just been bought up.

The deal that saw Leicestershire firm RHL Solicitors buy Bristol-based Lysander Law has saved 46 jobs.

RHL previously handled financial mis-selling claims but this month new directors, including well-known costs barrister Shaman Kapoor, were appointed.

Mr Kapoor told Legal Futures that RHL was a small practice that was winding down until they stepped in.

Lysander works on personal injury, complex injury, clinical negligence, insolvency, family and financial litigation cases.

Administrators Begbies Traynor said it had traded profitably from its creation in 2016 until the Civil Liability Act 2018 reforms bit in 2021. Other factors that made trading difficult for the business included the court delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lysander Law previously employed 82 staff, 36 of whom have left the business in recent months as the firm sought to cut costs to return to profitability.

“The directors had initially attempted to remodel the company financially in a bid to secure private investment or a solvent sale,” a statement said. When this approach proved unsuccessful, an accelerated sale process was initiated.

Begbies partner Huw Powell said: “We are pleased to have been able to save such a significant number of jobs and this is a demonstration of what can be achieved if company owners seek advice in a timely manner.

“I would like to wish the team at RHL every success for the future – they are now in a good position to take the business forward and trade profitably.”

RHL director Thishan De Zoysa added: “We are delighted to be able to support our new team and the clients that we will serve, and my fellow investors and I are really excited about what the future holds.”

According to LinkedIn, he is a chartered accountant who founded Their Perfect Gift, which sells prepaid gift cards that can be used with any retailer around the world that accepts MasterCard. RHL has been licensed as an alternative business structure since 2015.

Mr Kapoor is a commercial and common law barrister particularly well known for his costs practice. He is a member of the management board at 39 Essex Chambers in London and a deputy district judge, and his involvement with RHL will not change that.

He declined to comment further at this time on their plans for RHL.

The pair are also directors of newly created business called KDZ Law. LinkedIn says they met at school in Kingston upon Thames.

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