Quindell gains ABS licence and says it can deliver profit under new costs regime

Injury: Quindell comfortable with proposed EL fees

Quindell Portfolio has finally received its alternative business structure (ABS) licence and also predicted that it will be able to operate profitably within the new fixed fees and small claims structure put forward by the government.

In a trading update issued this morning, Quindell said it has now received approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority in relation to Quindell Legal Services Limited’s ABS application, which takes in its acquisitions of three law firms: Silverbeck Rymer, Pinto Potts and The Compensation Lawyers.

The approval, which has no application specific conditions, is effective from 21 December 2012.

Quindell is building an end-to-end outsourced claims proposition for insurers, which has also included acquisitions of Accident Advice Helpline, Ai Claims, Intelligent Claims Management and Mobile Doctors.

Meanwhile, Quindell has welcomed the government’s recent proposals for a new fast-track fixed fees structure for all road traffic accident (RTA) portal claims, with the £1,200 fee for claims worth up to £10,000 set to be cut to £500, and a new fee of £800 for claims between £10,000 and £25,000. When the portal is opened up to employer’s and public liability claims, fixed fees will be £900 for cases up to £10,000 and £1,600 for cases up to £25,000.

Quindell cited the Law Society describing the proposed costs as “woefully inadequate” and saying the likely result will be that many solicitors will not be able to afford to carry on doing this type of work.

The company said: “In contrast, Quindell has put in place significant expansion plans over the next 12 months to drive the business forward via organic growth, creating over 300 new positions within Quindell Legal Services.

“Even in light of the most recent government announcement to enter a period of consultation regarding whiplash injuries and raising the small-claims track threshold from £1,000 up to £5,000, the board believes that Quindell is uniquely placed to operate post this suggested regulatory change, even at its extremes, and will continue to be able to operate a profitable business model during this period of significant industry consolidation.”

Rob Terry, the chairman and chief executive of Quindell, said: “With the changes to legislation within the UK insurance industry now fast approaching, our solutions and services-based proposition of maintaining income and competitive advantage for our insurance clients and reducing costs for the overall insurance market are proving to be highly attractive.

“Quindell welcomes any proposals that protect consumer rights and champion industry change. Above all else, the market needs clarity. Our combined model and diversified offering means we can still operate profitably within the scope of the new proposals whilst supporting lowering the cost of claims for the industry as a whole.”