Personal injury firm Lyons Davidson has flatly denied press reports that it is in takeover talks with insurance giant Admiral.
An article in the Mail on Sunday claimed that British insurer Admiral planned to buy the national firm, which last year became an alternative business structure, in a bid to mitigate the impact of the referral fee ban.
Last year Admiral revealed that it makes £7 in personal injury referral fees for every vehicle it covers – income that will be hit in April when the ban comes into force.
But in a statement released today, Lyons Davidson managing director Mark Savill said the reports were not true.
He said: ‘In relation to current press speculation, Lyons Davidson would like to make it clear for its staff and clients that Lyons Davidson is not being acquired by any insurer or other organisation and is not involved in any discussions to do so. Other than that we have no comment to make.’
A spokeswoman for Admiral refused to comment.
Lyons Davidson has 48 partners and operates from offices in Bristol, Solihull, Leeds, Surrey, Plymouth, Cardiff and London, as well as an associated practice in Edinburgh.
When it secured the ABS licence last November, Savill admitted the firm would look at future links with insurers in the market.
The ABS route to getting around the referral ban has long been predicted as an unintended consequence of two different pieces of legislation – the Legal Services Act and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act.
Last week the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which will police the ban, said it would ‘carefully scrutinise’ ABS applicants, which would need to demonstrate they are acting as one entity.