Simpson Millar plans spring marketing assault
National firm Simpson Millar will launch a multi-platform advertising campaign this spring as it aims to move into the top level of UK consumer law firms.
Its parent company, listed entity Fairpoint PLC, today announced the firm’s first ‘unified marketing campaign’ through a mixture of print and online media.
In addition, the business will also make work-in-progress acquisitions from other firms and is considering ‘other commercial opportunities where it can deploy its core skill of applying process to professional services’.
The marketing campaign has been developed in an attempt to push the Simpson Millar brand as attention turns to an ‘organic growth agenda’.
Having bought Simpson Millar in June 2014, Fairpoint added personal injury specialist Colemans for an initial payment of £8.3m in cash in August 2015 and confirmed today it has retired the Colemans brand.
According to financial results published today on the London Stock Exchange, the group’s legal services turnover increased by 165% for the full year ending 31 December 2015 to £31.6m. Pre-tax profit was £4.4m, up from £1.6m in 2014.
Simpson Millar now has 12 offices across the UK with a focus on personal injury, family law and conveyancing, offering around 70 fixed-fee legal services.
Fairpoint, which started as a debt recovery business, now draws 58% of its revenue from legal services, up from 31% in 2014.
‘The consumer legal services market place is estimated to be worth some £10bn per annum and so presents the opportunity for both acquisition and organic growth in a much larger marketplace than traditional debt solutions,’ said the report.
‘The legal services market is highly fragmented and has been subjected to significant regulatory change, which is intended to improve consumer choice and value. These changes are encouraging industry consolidation and present a unique opportunity to create more competitive consumer offerings.’
The report noted potential future changes to the personal injury sector, with an increase in the small claims limit expected next year.
This would affect around 8% of the group’s business, but the company is seemingly not concerned by the prospect of legislative change.
‘The group believes that its recently acquired legal processing centre positions the group advantageously to manage such legal work at low cost. The board also believes that the changes proposed by the chancellor may provide interesting acquisition opportunities.’
Fairpoint has proposed a final dividend of 4.35p, up from 4.10p in 2014. The share value dropped 5.52% following the announcement of the group’s results.