PI firms fight back despite Jackson reforms

John Hyde for the The Law Society Gazette writes:

Surviving personal injury firms say they will emerge from bruising civil litigation reforms stronger than ever, despite gloomy forecasts for the sector.

The Jackson reforms and this month’s 60% cut in fixed fees through the RTA Portal have forced many firms to make redundancies and reduce their staff count.

However, north-west firm Scott Rees, which employs around 250 people, told the Gazette it intends to increase its workforce this month as it adapts to the new costs era.

Managing partner Royston Smith said the changes to civil justice were a ‘road block’ that required an alternative route.

‘Scott Rees has always rolled with the punches when changes such as the ones being brought in come about, and it always comes up swinging on the other side,’ said a spokesman.

Fellow PI firm Carter Law has also continued recruiting and is looking for extra claims-handlers in Manchester and London.

Meanwhile, north-west firm Antony Hodari said it would acquire more law firms in the coming months after securing Preston firm Ashton Fox in a pre-pack administration deal.

Around 8,000 cases will be transferred as a result of the takeover, with all 24 Ashton Fox staff retained.

Mark Grover (pictured), chief executive of Antony Hodari, said: ‘We saw the writing on the wall for claimant personal injury firms five years ago and instigated a major modernisation programme so we could be assured of a strong future.’

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