The LASPO reforms claimed a high-profile victim yesterday with Leeds firm Walker Morris announcing that it is to close its personal injury division, which operates under the brand Distinctly Legal.
Some 48 staff are now at risk of redundancy, with the firm blaming “the LASPO changes and the continuing turmoil in the personal injury market place”.
The division was formerly known as WM Claims and in a statement the firm said: “Over the last 12 months the firm has sought to refocus its personal injury business by investing in a rebrand and a ‘direct to market’ approach.
“The refocus has not achieved the results that we anticipated. This combined with continuing uncertainty in the market and the inevitable shift towards a more process, volume-driven approach, has led the firm to conclude that continued involvement in the PI market does not fit with its long-term strategy.”
Managing partner Ian Gilbert added: “Despite having a very capable and committed team within Distinctly Legal, unfortunately the significant structural changes which have occurred in the PI market recently and those changes which we believe will occur in the future, have led us regrettably, to conclude that this is not a market in which Walker Morris can differentiate itself as well as building a strong recognisable brand.
“We have therefore decided to withdraw from the PI market and focus on our successful core business.”
Co-operative Legal Services has also announced that it is to make redundancies in its 140-strong personal injury division as a result of a “restructuring”.