One of the country’s biggest personal injury firms saw profits tumble in the last financial year, accounts have revealed. Pre-tax profits at national firm Thompsons Solicitors slumped from £16.2m in 2014/15 to £3.4m in the 2015/16 year ending 30 April.
Turnover fell from £76m to £67.3m as the business faced difficult conditions in the personal injury market.
The accounts, published at Companies House over the Christmas break, also show the firm made £3.8m provision for redundancies over the year.
The Gazette revealed in July 2015 that Thompsons, which is best known for its trade union work, was due to restructure its business and close three offices.
The 2016 accounts show overall headcount fell from 946 to 923 during the year, with the drop largely due to reductions in non-case-handlers.
The highest remuneration of a LLP member for the year in 2015 had been a total package worth £918,000. The highest-paid member in 2016 received a package worth £519,000, which included £47,000 net income, tax provision of £233,000 and a £239,000 retirement payment.
Profit for the year available for discretionary division among members was £1.16m – down from £13.1m in 2015.
In a statement, a Thompsons spokesman said: 'It has been a challenging year in which we have undergone major reshaping as a result of LASPO and employment tribunal fees, with significant redundancy costs which are reflected in the firm's profits for the year.
'With those structural changes, we are well placed to face future challenges. We will continue to campaign against the politically and morally unjustified proposed increase in the small claims limit which would be devastating to clients who suffer personal injury.'
In November, justice secretary Liz Truss outlined plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injury claims to £5,000 – effectively removing most lawyers from the process – and scrap or reduce compensation payments for soft-tissue injuries.
The consultation on the reforms closes on Friday.
Thompsons has spearheaded a campaign to oppose the changes, accusing the government of feeding 'fat-cat' insurers. The campaign was launched last month with the support of Labour’s shadow justice team, which includes former Thompsons solicitor and shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon.
Firms have warned of the potential effects of Truss’s proposals, with dozens admitting in a poll that they would either close their personal injury department or shut down altogether.