Another slice of the Parabis Group is set to be sold, this time to Lyons Davidson.
The firms is in talks to buy Saga Law, an ABS set up in 2013 as a joint venture between Parabis and Saga, the insurance and holiday company for the over-50s. When it launched, Saga Chief Executive Roger Ramsden criticised the traditional law firm model, saying that, "all too often customers have to chase solicitors for action and updates". Saga Law would address those needs, he said. Although only in three specific areas: conveyancing, wills and probate. Because Saga knew its audience.
Despite negging law firms, Saga now intends to sell to one. Fittingly, Bristol-based Lyons Davidson doesn't appear to particularly like ABSs, either. Announcing earlier this year that turnover had dropped £20 million to £51.6 million in 2013/14 and that pe-tax profits were down from £2.61 million to £1.54 million, Lyons Davidson blamed "unprecedented changes" to the litigation system, including the introduction of ABSs.
Insiders say that the acquisition is due to go live next week, when Parabis is also hoping to wrap up the sale of Plexus. It is in talks to offload its defendant PI firm to its orginal founders after four months of discussions with Keoghs went nowhere.
A spokeswoman for Parabis told RollOnFriday, "As previously stated, Parabis is in talks with a number of parties as part of a strategic restructure of the group. While talks are ongoing there will be no further comment".
Paul Green, director of communications for Saga, said, "We can't comment on speculation. But what we can say is that ensuring our customers are well-served is always our primary concern". Smooooth.
Lyons Davidson declined to comment.