Revealed: Newcastle’s £10m law firm manager

The managing director of a Newcastle personal injury firm is expecting to generate a salary package of £10m by the end of the financial year, making him one of the most highly remunerated members of the profession.

Jeff Winn, who set up Winn Solicitors a little more than a decade ago and has 80 per cent ownership of the group, expects it to generate profits of £12.1m for the 2012/13 year, while turnover will hit £32.8m.

Winn is optimistic in the face of a personal injury market that is facing a Government-led overhaul in April.

“We’ll continue to invest and aim for 30 per cent growth until that dies,” said Winn. “There will be great consolidation in the market and it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s six to 10 PI firms that dominate 70 per cent of the market in two to three years’ time.”

The dilemma for these firms is that, under pressure from the insurance industry, the Government is abolishing referral fees and is set to introduce what Winn calls ‘draconian’ reductions in fees for low-value road traffic cases going through the RTA portal.

Winn said that would mean slicing a chunk of staff time spent on every case to still make them cost-effective.

He asserts that his low-overhead, high-efficiency model, which operates out of a former Safeway supermarket in Byker, Newcastle, is the business model that all other firms should be following.

Winn, who admitted that he has never run a personal injury claim from start to finish, has grown the business by around 30 per cent year-on-year. He is on the hunt for a third-party investment partner to “rapidly grow” and take advantage of faltering rivals in the sector.

Winn said his five-year strategy will be pushed through over the next 18 months on the back of a pending ABS approval and “advanced negotiations” about external investment.

In 2011/12, the legal side of the business made £5.7m profit from £14.5m turnover.

For more on Winn and Winn Solicitors, read this week’s feature.