Quindell’s legal services arm will remain a distinct company from its new parent Slater and Gordon once a £637m takeover is complete.
Neil Kinsella (pictured), chairman of Slater and Gordon UK, told a conference today that the professional services division of the listed company will be a ‘separate entity’ from the Australian firm, dealing with volume cases.
The two parties, including their shareholders, have agreed to a deal, as has the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Approval is now awaited from the Financial Conduct Authority.
Kinsella told today’s Modern Claims Conference in London that the Slater and Gordon approach will not change, despite the differences between the approaches of the two sides.
‘We’ve not changed our strategy at all,’ said Kinsella. ‘One side of the business would deal with complex cases and the other with volume and low-level cases in an efficient way.
‘Overall [it offers] scale and the opportunity to learn across the two, [providing] technology and a holistic service and a joined-up service in terms of claimants for low-level or high-volume cases, and in particular in that complex area having resources to take on cases.’
The disposal of the professional services division involves a 50-50 share of profits from future noise-induced hearing loss claims being run by Quindell, the self-proclaimed biggest listed legal services provider in the world. There are reported to be around 53,000 cases on the Quindell books.
But the sector of hearing loss claims could be subject to government reform, according to Kevin Rousell, head of claims management regulation at the Ministry of Justice.
Rousell told the same conference that this area has seen big increases in activity in recent years due to the regulations applied to it.
‘NIHL is subject to the disease claim costs regime which is different to personal injury,’ he said. ‘There seems to be an awful lot of waste in the system. We had lots of it in respect of financial claims such as PPI and we’re seeing it happen again with NIHL.’
Rousell also confirmed a reversal of court fees, increased by up to 600% by the previous government to cover the costs of running the court system, is not likely to be a priority for new justice secretary Michael Gove.
‘The next five years are going to be just as testing - I doubt we will be going back and reducing court fees - we will have to live with them.’