Reynolds Porter in regional move

High-end insurance firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has acquired South West practice SJ Cornish Solicitors in anticipation of setting up a low-value bulk claims practice.
Midmarket insurance firms such as Beachcroft Wansbroughs have long used less expensive regional offices to process thousands of insurance claims at a low margin, but this has never been a market for Reynolds Porter.
“We’ll use this office to do claims handling for clients in due course, but there are no immediate plans. It all depends on our clients. Some want a London service, but some want you to do bulk claims,” said Reynolds Porter chief executive Adrian Martin.
SJ Cornish, a four-partner firm based in Tiverton, Devon, specialises in defendant insurance and professional indemnity work for insurers in the South West.
Only name partner Sarah Cornish will join Reynolds Porter as a partner; of the other SJ Cornish staff, two partners will become associates and one a consultant.
Martin said Reynolds Porter has no current plans to set up offices in other regional locations.
“We have no pretensions of wanting to become a national firm,” he stated.
Despite its insurance focus, SJ Cornish is best known for winning £200,000 libel damages last year for two nursery nurses who were falsely accused of being members of a paedophile ring in a Newcastle City Council report.