Expanding motor claims company Brownsword has opened a new office, taken on new staff and set itself up as a plc ready to float on the Stock Exchange.

The company claims to have grown each year, posting a 25% increase in business last year. Managing director, David Brownsword confirmed further growth plans by claiming the new plc status would enable the company to raise cash. "Being a plc will assist Brownsword to seek external funding if an interesting business opportunity arises," he said.

The company, was created by a management buyout from what is now Miller Pycroft Arnold. In five years it has grown to 50 full-time office staff supported by 90 field staff around the country. It has just opened a new office in Folkestone.

Five non-standard claims technicians have moved from Orion's office in the town. They are Caroline Finnis, Linda Piper, Steve Goldfinch, Kerry Haigger and Matthew Pilcher.

The new office will report to incoming south east regional director, Darren Graham, who has joined Brownsword from a motor syndicate at Lloyd's. The company has also appointed Joanna Chapman as regional director for Scotland. She has worked for AGF and Independent.