Business of Law

Public Company to Buy UK Law Firm for $30M to Enhance Insurance Claims-Management Business

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In what may be the first purchase of a law firm by a publicly traded United Kingdom company, Quindell Portfolio plans to acquire Silverbeck Rymer to expand the array of claims-management services it offers to insurers.

It will pay 19.3 million pounds (about $30 million in U.S dollars) for the Liverpool-based personal injury firm, of which slightly over half will be paid in cash and the rest through shares in Quindell, according to the Financial Times (reg. req.), Legal Week and the Post (reg. req.).

The Legal Services Act authorizes such acquisitions of law firms by non-law-firm owners.

“Personal injury is one of the biggest areas of claims costs to insurers, and it’s an area where there are still a lot of conflicts,” chairman Rob Terry of Quindell told the Financial Times. “This is about all firms operating their costs at the most appropriate level.”

After the acquisition, those who work at Silverbeck will be paid a salary and will have an opportunity to share in stock options, the newspaper says.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority must approve the sale of Silverbeck before it is final.

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