Thompsons reports £13m profit loss with small claim reforms on the horizon

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Pre-tax profits at Thompsons Solicitors have dropped from £16.2 million to £3.4 million in the 2015/16 year ending 30 April.

The well-known personal injury firm has revealed that the dramatic drop meant that their revenues for the last financial year fell to £67.3 million.

The accounts, published at Companies House over the Christmas break, also show the firm made £3.8m provision for redundancies over the year.

The Law Society Gazette has reported that a Thompsons spokesperson as saying that it had been “a challenging year” in which the firm underwent a major restructuring programme as a result of the LASPO Act and changes to employment tribunal fees.

“With those structural changes, we are well placed to face future challenges,” said the spokesperson.

He also said that the firm would continue to campaign against the “politically and morally unjustified” proposed increase in the small claims limit which it said “would be devastating to clients who suffer personal injury”.

Last year, Thompsons launched a campaign called Feeding Fat Cats, which was designed to highlight the profits that it believes insurers will make following changes to the small claims limit and damages for soft tissue injuries.

In December, Labour backed the campaign, which has claimed that insurance companies stand to gain £200 million from the changes. It has also said that the reforms will affect nearly one million people injured through no fault of their own each year and that it will cost the NHS £13 million in extra care before taking into account the associated in-patient or ambulance costs. In addition, the firm said that the Government’s estimation that the Treasury would lose £135 million was a probably a “huge” underestimate.

Thompsons also investigated the remuneration of the CEOs of the top three insurers (Admiral, AVIVA and Direct Line) and found that their salaries, benefits, bonuses and dividends gave them earnings in 2015 ranging from £4.82m to £37.82 million.

Last November, Tom Jones, the head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors said: “At the same time as their CEOs are being paid these bloated packages, the insurance industry has made spurious and unsubstantiated claims to bully the Government into rolling over and agreeing changes in the small claims limit that will leave those injured on the roads and at work without Access to Justice.”

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk