Windfall for legal firm owners as profits recover

Joint owners of Liverpool city region legal and insurance services firm Carpenters Group share dividends of more than half a million pounds amid a recovery in its profits. Tony McDonough reports

Carpenters Group
Donna Scully and John Carpenter, joint owners of Carpenters Group


Profits at Merseyside legal and insurance services firm Carpenters Group have recovered to £1.39m after plummeting to just £3,000 last year.

Carpenters has just filed its annual accounts on Companies House for the 12 months to December 31, 2022. They show a fall in revenues to £49.6m from the £52.12m reported for 2021.

During the pandemic the group saw a downturn in business. It also grappled with regulatory changes and the launch of a new personal injury claims portal that has caused concern across the UK claims sector.

In the last full year before the pandemic, the 12 months to December 31, 2019, Carpenters generated revenues of £69m and pre-tax profits of more than £13m.

Similar to many businesses across the UK, the business used the Government furlough scheme to help pay its staff during the pandemic. In total it claimed more than £2m from the scheme – around £1.8m in 2020 and a further £357,000 in 2021.

With offices in Liverpool, Wirral, Leeds, West Sussex and Glasgow, Carpenters Group employs more than 1,000 people. It provides legal services to insurance companies and brokers and handles personal injury claims.

It is run by three directors – Donna Richards, Donna Scully and John Carpenter. Ms Richards is the chief executive of the business while Ms Scully and Mr Carpenter are the joint owners.

According to the latest accounts, total remuneration for the three directors came to £692,962 with the highest paid of the trio receiving £392,962.

On top of this, as joint owners of the business, Ms Scully and Mr Carpenter shared dividends totalling £520,000. Last year the pair shared £650,000 in dividends taking the total for the two-year period to £1.17m.

In the report Carpenters says: “The reduction in turnover is a reflection of the legacy of reduced case volumes from the prior years impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic together with the changing landscape post regulatory changes, where the average value of income per transaction is reduced.


No 1 Tithebarn
No 1 Tithebarn houses the Liverpool office of Carpenters Group. Picture by Tony McDonough


“The group has seen volumes of new work continue to increase throughout the year. The group continues to invest heavily in time and resource to ensure it has a sustainable platform and model for ongoing growth and expansion of product lines.

“The strength of the business and balance sheet ensure a sustainable future for the business.”

READ MORE: Developer plans 2.5m sq ft Merseyside logistics hub

In August Carpenters sponsored the world premiere of a new film set against the backdrop of the 1970s glam rock movement and the death of T-Rex’s Marc Bolan. It took place at FACT in Liverpool.

Bolan’s Shoes, starring Timothy Spall and Leanne Best, was produced by Liverpool independent film company Buffalo Dragon. It was directed by well-known TV actor Ian Puleston-Davies.

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