Law firm sees new business volumes slowly returning to normal

Wakefield-based Minster Law has reported a £1.1m profit for 2019 (2018: £1.9m) on turnover of £34.1m (2018: £35.1m) in its annual report and accounts.

CEO Shirley Woolham said the result was a “a considerable achievement in light of the exceptional trading conditions created as a result of Covid 19.”

She said the pandemic had impacted new business volumes after official figures from the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) showed a 40% drop in motor accident injury claims between April and June 2020 compared to the previous quarter.

She added: “It’s been encouraging to see new business volumes gradually returning to more normal levels over the past few of months, but the market is still volatile.

“We’ve seen far less volatility in bike related claims, one of our specialisms, where we serve around one-third of the entire market.

“2020 has, however, been a watershed year in that we have secured a number of new contracts as well as launching our fully operational digital claims operation and customer portal. Digital will be the standard way to manage volume injury claims in the near future.”

Woolham explained new contracts accounted for £2m of increased distribution costs (2018: £22.4m) during the 2019/20 financial year, with the income benefit being realised over the next few years.

She said: “These new partnerships point to our long-term resilience and the value we can derive from a digital claims servicing proposition.

“We have leveraged our early investment in digital technology to transform and streamline our operations and how we best serve our customers.”

At the start of the pandemic Minster Law went to fully remote working in less than 48 hours, helped by already having its IT and telephony infrastructure cloud-based.

Woolham added that thanks to a strong balance sheet, net assets in excess of £46m and a progressive investor in BHL Group, Minster Law will always consider inorganic growth opportunities where it makes strategic sense.

She said: “We have no real interest in acquiring PI law firms or WIP books – any acquisition we consider would need to be more strategic than that – contributing to extending our capability or helping us to develop better ways of serving our business partners and customers.”