Consumer Legal Services
The Consumer Legal Services division focuses on the Personal Injury and Residential Conveyancing sectors of the legal services market. The division provides outsourced marketing services to law firms through the National Accident Helpline brand and Homeward Legal, and claims processing to individuals through National Accident Law (NAL), and its joint venture LLPs, Law Together and Your Law. In addition, it also provides property searches through Searches UK.
The market for Personal Injury legal services is estimated at £4bn, with more than 800,000 individual claims registered in a typical year. Within that market, we calculate that the share represented by the fees earned by claimant-side law firms comprises £1.6bn of the total.
While claim volumes have been in gradual decline over the past five years and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and 2021, an increase in the value of damages awarded, costs inflation and changes in the type of claims made have largely offset any reduction in the value of the market. The market for legal services in the Residential Property sector is estimated at £2.4bn, with more than 1 million property transactions taking place each year despite subdued activity levels in the market since the 2015 changes to Stamp Duty and the 2016 Brexit vote.
Demand for the services offered by the Personal Injury business ultimately stems from people who suffer injury in an accident that was not their fault. Consumers have the right to claim compensation for the pain and loss of earnings associated with such injuries, and seek legal representation to ensure the best outcome from such a claim.
Our investment case and business model
The Group’s personal injury business model is built on three pillars:
a highly productive marketing engine, powered by the sector’s most trusted brand, National Accident Helpline;
an efficient, technology-enabled and purpose-built law firm, National Accident Law, which is focused on the consumer; and
an agile and scalable placement model designed to balance the work we place with our panel for in-year profit and cash with the work we process ourselves for greater, but deferred, profit and cash.
The combined strengths of these pillars uniquely position Consumer Legal Services to profitably service high-volume segments of its market, whilst enabling the division to optimise its returns from higher-value segments of the claims market. The division completed its three-year investment programme in 2020, which laid the foundations for the growth of our own law firm, National Accident Law, and prepared the business for the market reforms implemented in May 2021.
The strong market awareness of our National Accident Helpline brand and its highly optimised website generates a high volume of leads which we triage through our customer contact centre to identify enquiries with the greatest potential of success. Our investments in digital customer journeys means that an increasing number of enquiries are generated entirely online at a reduced cost. We monetise qualified enquiries through our flexible placement model. Enquiries either proceed directly to our in-house processing law firm, National Accident Law, or are dealt with by one of the specialists on our panel of law firms. We no longer place large volumes with our joint venture firms now that we have our own in-house firm, as National Accident Law offers us a better return and a simpler journey for the customer.
For more information, please visit our consumer sites: