Tech-focused law firm returns to profit following strong growth

Alex Lynch

Annual revenues have risen and a pre-tax loss has been turned around in the year ending April 2023 at Manchester-based personal injury and medical negligence firm, Fletchers Solicitors.

Chief Financial Officer, Alexandra Lynch, said turnover increased by 26% to £43m (2021/22: £34m), operating profits grew by £3.4m to £3.1m, while profit before tax was £2.1m, compared with a £0.2m loss the previous year.

She said investment in more direct-to-consumer marketing spend and the purchase by Fletchers of case acquisition specialists Blume in November 2022 had helped deliver this increase in revenues.

“The ‘Blume factor’ was also behind a 17% increase in case signings, with a trend towards higher value cases also boosted by our other acquisitions during that period including Cycle SOS in May 2022, and Minton Morrill in September 2022, plus a renewed impetus by our Charities and Partnerships team,” she said.

Fletchers opened two new offices in Leeds and Liverpool during 2022-23 to extend its market reach across the north and attract more talent.

Chief Executive, Peter Haden, said: “Our people proposition is core to sustaining our success and building a diverse and inclusive working environment is a major focus of our Responsible Business Strategy, launched in 2023.

“We lead the market in enabling colleagues from non-traditional backgrounds to build a career in the law and have issued stretching targets on gender, ethnicity and social mobility.”

The firm continued to invest in technology, in particular AI and machine learning. A renewed partnership with the data science department at the University of Liverpool is building on the organisation’s earlier work to speed up the claims process and focus on the most promising enquiries and identify cases with a higher chance of success.

Haden said: “AI has saved time and helped direct work towards the right person for the job, but we still make sure our specialist colleagues make any final decisions. We intend to leverage our experience with the university to build additional tools which will help grow our practice and ultimately open up access to justice for more people.”

Fletchers also launched the Fletchers Foundation in 2022-23 with the aim of helping people who have suffered life-changing injury and who do not have recourse to a compensation claim. During its first year, the foundation approved more than 24 grants for individuals and raised in excess of £55,000 in fundraising.

Fletchers remains on course for further growth during the current reporting period. Haden said: “We’ve seen a 41% increase in signed cases this year, a 30% increase in overall headcount and we’ve opened further new offices in Bolton and Cambridge, following the acquisition of Serious Injury Law.

“The 2022/23 report and accounts has underlined the progress we made as a result of the investment by an affiliate of Sun European Partners, and in particular the acquisition of Blume, which has been a hugely beneficial addition to the group’s portfolio.”