Slater & Gordon ditches rehab arm and stops using its own MRO

Whitmore: Considerable consolidation in market likely

Slater & Gordon has signed a deal with ExamWorks UK to handle both its medical reporting and rehabilitation needs that will see the closure of its rehabilitation business, Overland Health.

Some 30-plus jobs will go at the Malta-based operation, but Mobile Doctors – its medical reporting arm – will continue offering its services to other law firms. Both were originally bought by Quindell and transferred over as part of the deal with Slater & Gordon.

Overland Health was bought in 2012 and valued at £14m, while Mobile Doctors, bought the year before, had revenues of £27m.

Mobile Doctors is a ‘tier 1’ medical reporting agency for MedCo, which means it has the ability to handle 40,000 referrals (MedCo and others) a year.

Initially it was rebranded and mainly worked on cases referred by other parts of the Quindell group, meaning that external clients fell away.

After Slater & Gordon bought Quindell in 2015, it agreed that Mobile Doctors should reclaim its brand and build its external client base back up, as MedCo rules prohibit law firms from referring clients to medical reporting businesses they own.

In a relaunch two years ago, Mobile Doctors said that nearly 80% of its work was now with other law firms, with more than 400 law firms instructing it through MedCo. The remaining 20% is handling Slater & Gordon’s non-MedCo cases.

David Whitmore, Slater & Gordon’s chief executive, said: “As part of our ambitious growth strategy, we are entering into a long-term relationship with the ExamWorks UK Group. This is an opportunity for both us and them to leverage each other’s expertise and better optimise business development opportunities.

“We anticipate considerable consolidation throughout the sector in the coming months and we are always looking for ways in which to grow our business while enabling us to provide a better service to our customers.

“This new commercial relationship will enable us to continue the growth in our core legal services business.

“We anticipate entering into further relationships with other channel partners as we look to grow our market share ahead of the forthcoming regulatory reforms.”

Mr Whitmore confirmed that Mobile Doctors would now focus on building its “externally generated business” but would remain a part of the Slater & Gordon Group.

“We are in conversation with colleagues in our Overland Health business,” he added.

Research published this week showed that ExamWorks is the largest player in the £700m medico-legal and insurance services market.

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