Uncertainty in the personal injury market is starting to bite, with one of the biggest market players reporting lower case volumes.
National Accident Helpline Group reported to the London Stock Exchange today that falling case numbers in its PI unit were ‘in line’ with the company's predictions.
The PI sector is still awaiting the publication of a consultation on increasing the small claims limit to £5,000 and scrapping general damages. Both were announced by former chancellor George Osborne last November, but the government has said little about how the proposals have progressed since then.
NAHL, whose share price rose almost 9% following the announcement, said the group overall had performed well, but it was now keen to build a wider range of services with the regulatory uncertainty in mind.
‘Our focus on building a broader, more diversified and resilient business has positioned the group well as we continue to deliver on our strategy of being the UK’s leading marketing and services provider in our chosen legal markets,’ said Russell Atkinson, NAHL chief executive.
Atkinson explained that the group has contingency plans for the PI reforms and will be ‘well positioned’ to adjust to any changes.
The company, which will announce its results for the first half of 2016 on 21 September, said its property conveyancing unit showed ‘good growth’ during the period.
NAHL said the UK residential property market saw ‘reduced volumes’ following the Brexit vote last month, but the company was confident this will not have a ‘material impact’ on the longer-term future.
Meanwhile, another listed legal entity, Fairpoint PLC, has confirmed it will place even more emphasis on legal services provision after announcing that it will stop providing debt-management plan services.
The company, which owns law firms Simpson Millar and Colemans-CTTS, reported that profits are likely to be ‘flat’ for the first half of 2016 to reflect the changes in the group.
Legal services now represent 75% of group revenues, with overall revenue expected to increase by 20% compared to the first half of 2015, mainly due to the acquisition of the Colemans business in August 2015.
Fairpoint, which saw its share price fall 4.26% today, will report half-year results on 15 September.