Latest Personal Injury Market Report Published – Some Respite but no Relief for the Sector

30 Jul 2018

The UK Personal Injury Market Report 2018 is the fifth edition of an annual market report from IRN Research and provides an overview of the UK personal injury and clinical negligence markets.

The personal injury market is a large market, worth almost £4bn annually, but it is struggling to generate any real growth:

  • The new legislation set for April 2020 (increasing small claim limit for PI claims, introducing a range of fixed costs tariffs, encouraging more litigants in person) will negatively impact on the revenues and margins of PI law firms and claims management companies (CMCs).
  • Despite the above outlook, our annual survey of PI practitioners shows that 45% are expecting their PI workloads to increase in the next 12 months, increasing from 35% in 2017. As in 2017, half of firms are expecting their PI workloads to stay the same but a smaller percentage are predicting a decrease in workload.
  • IRN Research expects the PI market to grow modestly in value terms in 2018 and 2019 but it is likely to decline in 2020 as the new rules start to have an impact. Once the market has aligned itself to the new landscape, the market should see some value growth.  Underlying volumes, however, will continue to fall.

In the next year or so, it is likely that PI law firms and CMCs will embark on contingency plans and strategies ready for the 2020 reforms. These include:

  • More mergers and acquisitions as smaller vulnerable players continue to leave the market or become part of a larger group.
  • Adding related business activities to the core PI claims business to increase revenues and rely less on just low value PI work. Activities such as accident management services, vehicle recovery and repair, replacement vehicle hire, damage assessment, and medical care/rehabilitation services.
  • Larger PI firms and CMCs investing more in new technology to further commoditise the claims process to cope with the new lower value claims landscape.
  • Leading general practice PI firms already reducing their dependence on this sector and expanding in other consumer law areas.
  • Some PI firms tried broadening their services by exploiting the increase in CN cases. The results of this have been mixed largely because the expertise needed to deal with complicated CN cases does not come overnight. Some providers are now rolling back this approach and looking at other possible new income streams, for example housing disrepair claims.
  • More restructuring of many PI practice teams.
  • The emergence of new business models to streamline the claims process, reduce costs, share technologies, e.g. law firms joining forces with insurance companies, CMCs setting up law firms via ABS, legal providers setting up integrated businesses with accident management and rehabilitation suppliers.

The briefing (59pp, PDF), is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £200. UK sterling price is plus VAT so total price is £240. Further details of the content, and order form,. on our Reports page at www.irn-research.com/market-research-reports

The briefing provides details of market size and historical trends; supply structure; key players; commentary on key issues; forecasts; sector practitioner survey; associations.

IRN Research

Established in 1991, IRN Research is a research agency with a focus on the legal services market. We offer a range of research services to law firms and suppliers to the sector. Services include client surveys, market studies, competitor intelligence, industry reports, and strategic studies. For further information, contact David Mort on +44(0)7905 239599 or dmort@irn-research.com.

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