SGI Legal has become the latest PI firm to win an ABS licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
The Liverpool-based firm, which has four solicitor partners, who manage the business full-time rather than earn fees, has only been in operation for over a year and recorded a a turnover of £5m in its first 12 months.
Out of its 60 staff, only six are qualified lawyers and more than 10% of staff are IT specialists. SGI says that it will use the ABS licence to develop the full range of legal and non-legal accident management services under its brand, to bring non-lawyers into the equity, and to seek external investment and acquisitions.
Managing partner Simon Gibson said that in the past, clients have not benefited as much as their lawyers have from the traditional way in which legal services have been provided. As a result, he said, he wanted SGI to focus on what the client want, “which is to get from A to B as quickly as possible”.
“The costs base and structure of many law firms is unsuitable for the changing regulatory and economic situation,” said Gibson. “In my opinion, law firms must structure their cost base and drive efficiency in fee earning so as to meet the challenges ahead.
“We ensure that our lawyers add value where their professional knowledge and skills are needed, but we recognise that there is a need to process client transactions using fewer lawyers with a far greater reliance upon IT.”
“The values and ethics of the legal profession underpin our practice but they do not mean that law firms cannot embrace new ways of providing their services,” he added.