Minster Law, now an £82.2m giant of a business and the UK’s largest road traffic accident (RTA) personal injury practice, is the result of the takeover of small Yorkshire-based firm Corries.
Minster’s chairman and sole owner Adrian Christmas bought Corries in 2005. He added a corporate structure, transforming it into a limited company in response to, and in anticipation of, the Legal Services Act.
Chief executive Stuart Ramsey, part of Minster’s seven-strong management board, said Christmas “could tell the way the profession was going”. In other words, if new rivals were about to enter the space that Minster wanted to occupy, he would be sure
to make Minster able to take on the competition.
The limited company structure was considered the best way of running and growing the business. Judging by the 30.5 per cent increase in total revenue last year, which Minster was able to post by being the main supplier of legal services to clients such as personal lines broker BGL Group, that was a good bet.
Indeed, the firm’s stellar performance was backed by its former CEO Matthew Briggs, who commented on www.thelawyer.com about the firm (15 August 2011), saying: “The factory model has most definitely got a big role to play in the future, and the adoption of innovative routes to market, leading-edge technology and a high-performing culture are key to ‘new world’ law firms.”
Last year’s revenue was generated by just 25 qualified lawyers along with 155 fee-earners. Support staff outnumber fee-earners by 2.5 to one.
That said, while the revenue is as high as the firm’s case volume, margins are exceedingly low. Net profit was just £700,000 last year.
Ramsey admits that Minster is “a cash-hungry” business because of the level of growth, but thanks to its track record it has “very supportive” debt suppliers. The firm is not currently looking for external investment or to float.