Despite the pandemic’s impact, the firm’s new partnerships and digital claims service points to long-term resilience
Minster Law has reported a fall in profit to £1.1m for 2019, down from £1.9m in 2018, according to its latest financial results.
Turnover dropped to £34.1m, down from £35.1m in 2018. The drop was attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although Minster Law’s chief executive Shirley Woolham said these results were a “considerable achievement in light of the exceptional trading conditions created as a result of Covid-19”.
She said: “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.”
But organic growth is key and Woolham said Minster Law will consider inorganic growth where it makes strategic sense.
“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,” she added.
The pandemic, Woolham pointed out, had impacted new business volumes following figures from the Compensation Recovery unit (CRU) showed a drop in motor accident injury claims of 40% between April and June 2020 – compared with the previous quarter.
But she said: “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.
“This leaves us well-positioned to take advantage of the changes in the volume RTA [Road Traffic Act Insurer] claims sector in April 2021, as insurers and brokers look to more innovative partners who can provide efficient, scalable and customer-led claims solutions for a post-reform world.”
These new contracts accounted for £2m of increased distribution costs (2018: £22.4m) in 2019.
She continued: “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.”
There have also been improvements in business efficiency, after reporting a 5.4% reduction in the ratio of administrative costs to turnover, on top of the 21% administrative cost reduction delivered in the previous year.
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