Claims management company First4Lawyers today signalled its intention to expand its caseload to a wider range of consumer legal services.
The marketing collective is established as a handler for personal injury claims but today promised to move into employment, property, wills, finance, family and driving law.
The Yorkshire-based company will set up a call centre of 38 staff to manage the new work streams and send out claims initially to a small number of its existing panel of law firms. At the same time a new application process will open for firms that want to join panels in each dedicated practice area.
First4Lawyers managing director Qamar Anwar (pictured) said client feedback showed that many consumers are confused what services lawyers provide and the different specialisms.
‘For lawyers, this comes at a time when both the biggest law firms and new entrants, such as Saga, are targeting potential clients more than ever before through traditional and web advertising,’ he added. ‘These businesses need market share to keep growing, and we believe that joining a collective is realistically the only way to compete with them.’
A new series of TV and online advertisements will publicise the expansion in scope, highlighting the danger or choosing the wrong lawyer.
The company appears to have suffered little from the civil litigation reforms brought in by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which were predicted to herald a reduction in profitability from the personal injury sector.
According to documents filed with Companies House, First4Lawyers posted pre-tax profits of £2.63m in the year ending April 2014. This was marginally up on the 2012/13 figure of £2.61m.
But the move to providing a greater range of legal services may be a sign that PI is not as lucrative as it was pre-LASPO, with companies that relied on the sector having to broaden their appeal to maintain revenue.