Almost 70 firms have reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority that they failed to secure indemnity insurance before the renewal deadline closed on Monday, the Gazette learned today.

Early figures supplied by the regulator show that 69 firms have notified of their intention to trigger the extended indemnity period. Two of these have subsequently found insurance.

The figure is likely to change in the coming days as firms were given five working days to tell the SRA of their plans.

Last year, 29 firms applied to go into the former assigned risks pool after failing to secure insurance.

Meanwhile Birmingham firm Ganderton Solicitors, established seven years ago, has confirmed it ceased trading on 30 September and will close in December.

It is estimated 200 cases have been bought by regional firm Neil Hudgell Solicitors.

Leigh Ganderton, managing director and founder of Ganderton, said: ‘Personal injury work has been affected by radical governmental reforms and it is no longer profitable for us to operate in this sector.’