Insurance litigation firms reap the benefits with profit hikes

The top five insurance firms have all enjoyed massive profit hikes this year as their clients become increasingly litigious in today’s hardened market.
Kennedys, the best performer, saw profits per equity partner rise by 25 per cent, Beachcroft Wansbroughs profits went up 18 per cent and Reynolds Porter Chamberlain’s went up 10 per cent, while Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Clyde & Co’s both saw an 8 per cent increase.
Kennedys chief executive Ric Martin said: “There’s a link between a hard insurance market and a depressed economic climate and a rise in insurance litigation. It’s a gut feel, but we think the insurers are fighting more and taking a stronger view on premiums and risk.”
The firms have also benefited from the increase in insurance litigation following the events of 11 September, with reinsurers and insurers fighting over liability for the massive claims they are facing.
“Where things go wrong, the reinsurance side does well as there is a lot more litigation activity,” said a spokesperson for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.
Barlows senior partner Richard Dedman said that the firm would have done even better had it not also built up a large corporate department, which felt the strain this year.

Top five insurance firms

Firm Turnover 2002-03 Turnover2001-02 Profits per equity partner 2002-03 Profits per equity partner 2001-02
Clyde & Co £90m £79m £400,000 £370,000
Beachcroft Wansbroughs £80m £70.1m £228,000 £194,000
Barlow Lyde & Gilbert £72.7m £64.9m £270,000 £250,000
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain £40.3m £36m £250,000 £227,000
Kennedys £30.6m £28m £275,000 £220,000