The Jackson reforms have encouraged entrepreneurial law firms to diversify and grow into new areas, according to Mark Grover, CEO of Antony Hodari Legal Services Group.
Speaking on the first anniversary of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) coming into force, the firm's CEO, Mark Grover, has played down the negative effects of the reforms saying that they have allowed firms to reassess their business practices.
"While lower margins have forced some firms out of business, the reforms haven’t yet had the dramatic impact that many were predicting," he said.
Grover said that PI work has remained profitable enough for Antony Hodari to form a solid base from which it can grow in new directions. Under Grover's leadership, the firm has turned itself from a high-street PI practice into a diverse legal group operating on an international stage.
“The reforms have put a focus on commoditised, process-driven practices but customer service still has to be at the heart of running a successful PI business. The only way that firms can truly differentiate themselves is by creating an exceptional customer experience. Firms that fail to do so and think they can operate on process alone will eventually fail.”
As well as its its diversification strategy, the firm has made three significant purchases in the last two years: Paul Rooney Patnership; the caseload from Ashton Fox in a pre-pack deal; and Tandem Law.
“All of the acquisitions are part of a conscious strategy to future-proof our business. Despite the obviously challenging PI market conditions, our direct marketing capability and commoditisation of our PI business means we are operating profitably in a tough market. The acquisitions of Ashton Fox and Tandem Law enabled us to diversify into exciting and challenging new areas of work,” said Grover.