Silverbeck takes gold in ABS race

And they’re off. It was inevitable that the first mover in the post ABS-world was going to be an insurance firm and, sure enough, Liverpool PI outfit Silverbeck Rymer has obliged.

The firm has agreed to sell its business to AIM-listed Quindell in a deal worth almost £20m (see story).

Silverbeck Rymer will combine with Quindell – a brand extension company that also provides consultancy, software and outsourcing services – and medical reporting agency Mobile Doctors (which Quindell bought earlier) to create “a joint outsourcing offering to the UK insurance claim market, in particular the area of personal injury”.

Silverbeck Rymer has been strangely, erm, reticent to engage with the press over the past year or two, but in 2005 the firm shared with The Lawyer its strategy to grow aggressively and operate with a director-style model, as opposed to the traditional equity partnership (14 November 2005). As a result, in the 2008-09 financial year it was understood to have turnover of £19.1m and profit per equity partner second only to Slaughter and May, at £1.68m.

Given the above, it seems a no-brainer that the firm would pursue an ABS as soon as humanly possible. But without getting ahead of ourselves (the deal is still subject to SRA approval), the biggest question is: who’s next?