Mersey law firm reports loss as revenue falls £9m

Liverpool city region law firm Fletchers Group reports £9m fall in annual revenue and a pre-tax loss of more than £200,000 after US private equity buyout. Tony McDonough reports

Peter Haden
Peter Haden, chief executive of law firm Fletchers Group


Southport Law firm Fletchers Group saw revenue plummet more than 20% to £34.1m in the year to April 30, 2022.

It is also reporting a pre-tax loss of more than £209,000 for the 12-month period during which it was acquired by US-based private equity outfit Sun European Partners. Fletchers was sold by Rob and Ed Fletcher who founded the practice in 1987.

Shortly after the takeover in October 2021, Fletchers’ first-ever female chief executive, Alex Hatchman, left the business. Under her leadership the firm saw revenues 40% to £43.5m with profits up 39% to £5.2m. Ms Hatchman is now CEO of Napthens.

Now led by Peter Haden, Fletchers employs around 650 people. The bulk of the workforce is in Southport with offices in Manchester and Leeds. It specialises in personal injury and medical negligence.

In a press statement on Monday, Mr Haden said the results reflected “one-off costs of a change in ownership, the reshaping of the personal injury business, and significant investment in signing more recruits and more cases”.

However, in accounts filed at Companies House, Fletchers also blamed the fallout from the COVID pandemic and the collapse into administration of one of its key suppliers of cases. This reduced inbound personal injury leads in the second half of the year.

Over the course of the pandemic the firm secured £5m in loans via the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

READ MORE: Fletchers executive is new chair of Southport BID

On a more positive note, the number of signed cases increased by 20% between 2021 and 2022. This was due to investment in digital marketing and the acquisition of bike injury specialist and legal partner to Cycling UK, Cycle SOS.

Employee numbers during the 12 months increased by 30% and in September 2022, Fletchers Group added Leeds-based medical negligence law firm Minton Morill.

In January this year signalled its appetite for further acquisitions with the appointment of mergers and acquisitions expert Zoe Holland as its new chief commercial officer.

Ms Holland offers more than 25 years’ industry experience and is regarded as a leading practitioner in mergers and acquisitions, business growth and operational due diligence matters.


Zoe Holland
Zoe Holland, chief commercial officer at Fletchers Group


Peter Haden said: “We are making great progress on the two elements of our strategy: rapidly growing the business through investment in signing more cases and acquiring other firms.

“We are making Fletchers smarter by investing in new technology and improving our colleague proposition. These will be our priorities during the next 12 to 18 months.

“This is the most exciting time for our sector for many years. The challenges thrown up by Government reforms and the pandemic have created real opportunities for progressive businesses such as ours.”

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