Insurance software firm Sherwood International plans to double its London Market presence in the next year.

At its peak in 1997, Lloyd's accounts were worth approximately £24m of the firm's business.

This has plummeted in the last few years with the London Market accounting for £3m in 2001.

Sherwood spokesman Ross Gow said the declining number of Lloyd's syndicates and Sherwood's focus on developing in the US had contributed to the loss of business.

"It has been a declining figure and in 1999 we lost CNA as a customer, which was £11m on its own," he said.

"But our origins are in the London Market and we haven't forgotten them. We will come back into it."

Gow said Sherwood had spent millions of pounds on researching ways to double its presence in Lloyd's and the Company Market. It was now offering an enhanced version of Amarta Risk. This was compatible with the London Market Principles (LMP), the modernised London Market claims process, he said.

"Some contracts are coming to an end in 2002 and 2003," said Gow. "We are actively looking to migrate those people on to Amarta Risk."

Chief executive Mike Shinya added: "The London Market is absolutely valuable in our marketplace."

He said although Sherwood had made four overseas and one UK acquisition in the past two years, further purchases were "not a priority at the moment".

In January and February this year, Sherwood made 80 of its 500 full-time staff redundant. Shinya said there would be no further job cuts.