Dragons Den

Someone, somewhere has gone full Bannatyne 

DAC Beachcroft's previous plan to sell off its sizeable claims group is off the cards, for now, RollOnFriday understands.

RollOnFriday revealed just a couple of months ago that Limerston Capital, a private equity fund, was in exclusive talks to purchase the Claims Solutions Group (CSG) from DACB.

Held as DAC Beachcroft Claims Ltd, CSG handles personal injury and specialist claims on behalf of insurers and corporate clients. It operates in 12 UK locations and the Republic of Ireland, and employs over 1,000 people – roughly a third of DACB’s workforce.

However, a source has told RollOnFriday that the firm's Managing Partner, David Pollitt, recently made an internal announcement that DACB is no longer trying to sell CSG.

The insider said the decision was made "after a backlash from salaried partners, other staff and clients." Although a source close to management denied that a backlash was the reason.

The future plans for CSG remain murky. A spokeswoman for the firm said: "Following a strategic review of our business, exploring all our options to enhance the long-term investment into our Claims Solutions Group (CSG), we have developed an exciting new business plan for CSG, which we will implement to ensure CSG remains the leader in its markets for the benefit of our clients and colleagues."

It remains to be seen whether the 'exciting plan' can heal a supposed rift between the two divisions of the firm. DACB staff have previously described their firm as “two firms in one”, with the LLP on one side and CSG on the other.

“There is a clear divide between the fat cats in the LLP and the poor personal injury lawyers in the Claims Solutions Group side of the business”, an insider previously told RollOnFriday. 

Some staff have referred to a pecking order where “the personal injury side of the business is considered the lowest of the low within the firm”, and its staff are paid "like peasants whilst the LLP live in rarified air”. 

But for now, it seems CSG staff will have to try and embrace being a substantial part of the DACB family.

Want to join? Want to leave? Just curious how desired you are in the market? Get LawyerUp so that dozens of top firms can see your anonymised profile and let you know, without middlemen, when they like you for a role. Tap to take it further, or tap to dismiss their advance. On the App Store and Google Play.

Tip Off ROF


Dizzy Rascal 02 June 23 09:28

You’ve got CSG in,

CSG out,

In out, in out, shake it all about,

Another badly run law firm publicly exposing the ineptitude of its management team.  

Anonymous 02 June 23 10:17

"“There is a clear divide between the fat cats in the LLP and the poor personal injury lawyers in the Claims Solutions Group side of the business”, an insider previously told RollOnFriday."

A dividing line which, by an amazing coincidence, runs precisely along the fault line between the parts of the business that generate high profit margins and the parts which don't.

Crack teams of MBA graduates are being deployed as we speak to figure out how and why those two dividing lines could possibly be running along precisely the same path.

Exodus very soon 02 June 23 10:26

We don't want you anymore, oh sorry we do ... I would leave and go somewhere I was appreciated and whoever started all this shambles should be fired.  

Perhaps the Trolls are jealous 02 June 23 12:15

As a current employee of DACB I’ve seen no evidence of a rift between the LLP and CSG.

CSG act for all 20 major insurers (every single one) and have a brilliant team of lawyers, handling high profile complex work making a tidy profit. The LLP also have great clients and are hugely profitable.

There is a fair degree cross over and the two sides complement each other. There is no reason to change this, and both will continue to thrive. DACB is biggest player in the insurance sector and beyond.

It’s a genuinely great place to work and we’re happy being market leaders in our respective fields.

The trolls on here clearly have their own agenda albeit it bares no relationship with reality. Perhaps the trolls are jealous…

Anonymous 02 June 23 12:56

"CSG act for all 20 major insurers (every single one) and have a brilliant team of lawyers, handling high profile complex work making a tidy profit."

Tidy in the sense that there's so little of it that you can fold it all up into a small box and store it neatly in a bedside drawer while you hoover the office carpets.

@ Perhaps the Trolls are jealous 02 June 23 12:15 02 June 23 13:04

Are DAC really handling “high profile complex” legal instructions, or are they simply undercutting the market with their panel strategy which inherently results in those mandates from major insurers? I don’t doubt DAC do good things, but to say they are are the biggest player in “insurance and beyond” is certainly reaching. I’ve heard margins on the CSG business is extremely low, hence why PE or other investors do not see enough growth without semi-autonomous AI to increase profitability which we are a long way away from. Though, I agree that DAC should keep their CSG business to keep their insurers happy with that full service offering, otherwise without it they’re just another National/city firm. 

Anonymous 02 June 23 13:46

DACB isn't the biggest player. They just have low cost staff and allow insurer clients to pay them low fixed fees or hourly rates. Insurance companies love it. 

The trolls are jealous 02 June 23 14:25

DAC's CSG is the greatest law firm of all time, and the best place to work hands down.  Anyone critical of the CSG is a jealous troll.  

Where does that leave Plexus? 02 June 23 14:26

If no one wanted DAC they sure as h3ll aren’t going to buy Plexus. Seems it’s the MO. Charge too low a  fixed fee for handling the claims. Obviously it’s never going to make a profit. 
outsourcing industry is a shambles !

Clyde & co’s granny 02 June 23 14:39

I think you’ll find Clyde & Co are, by miles, the biggest player in the insurance sphere and at up to £2m per partner per year in remuneration they do it very well.

DACB is 2 firms within one. It’s intentional and needed. Ring-fence the risky bits. Keep them ripe for a sell off.



DACBin 02 June 23 14:50

"DACB is biggest player in the insurance sector and beyond."

Except factually it is not. And CSG acts for major composites on mostly volume cases, for fixed fees, CFAs, or low hourly rates. It does not routinely act for specialty lines or complex, high value, high rate matters. 

Other firms, including Clyde & Co, are bigger players in the insurance sector.

Lastly, explain what you mean by "and beyond". M&A, banking litigation, anti-trust, what?

Bless you.

Anonymous 02 June 23 15:21

The CEOs of Clydes, DACB, Keoghs, Weightmans etc should have got their heads together years ago and agreed 'this low and no lower'.  Obviously this would all have to be off the radar but it's glaringly obvious?

Anonymous 02 June 23 15:31

@15:21 - do you really think they don't discuss rates going into bids and tenders? You'll never see a scrap of paper or email trail.

InCider 02 June 23 15:55

Didn't happen because they didn't brief the clients, who were 'disturbed' at the prospect of their panel spot being sold on to some randoms (who knew?!). But once enough are happy, then we will be sold (hooray!).

Better be quick though, the resignations have begun...

Trainee not ad DACB 02 June 23 16:05

@ The trolls are jealous 02 June 23 14:25

Ok mate, you need to lay off the Kool aid. I’m glad you’re happy where you work, but DAC are not the greatest firm of all time. 

uberrima fides 02 June 23 17:27

They were selling it for 2 (5?) years and kept all the partners/staff/clients in the dark. Now they all know the Exec (senior equity) were flogging them to trouser a tidy profit. How do you trust that leadership team now? 

Noone dares say it internally - you will be branded 'off message' - but the CSG project has clearly been for sale for ages. The issue now is the price will plummet as they realise that CSG clients and staff hate the idea - the LLP are now saddled with a spurned bunch of partners that make less money and who now know they were being hawked against their desires.

The only winners are the deadwood equity left in CSG who panicked when they realise that PE were going to run a ruler over them. They can now sit in the trough for a few more years knowing that the LLP dare not sell them.

I cant wait until the next conference - V&D strutting around telling us its all about our collegiate culture. Right.

Non-troll 02 June 23 18:04

All this anti DACB sentiment is quite odd.. and massively uninformed. As a long standing client I can’t speak highly enough of the firm. Makes one wonder if some on here have got their own personal axes to grind and own personal agendas.. perhaps because they couldn’t cut it 

Insurance man 02 June 23 20:17

DACB for sure are not the biggest players and i would raise issue with the idea that they act for all the top 20 insurers.

That said the problem is the Keoghs are offering to do insurance work at prices which can only result in a sizeable loss but is presumably intended to gain market share. I have seen some mindboggingly low numbers.

As a consequence it seems DACB amongst others must be taking a hit.

n.b DACB now rarely seen of complex insurance litigation which is where the money is.

Anon 02 June 23 20:58

What a flop. This is obvious, how does a PE firm make money out of an insurance firm?

They just saw the margins, thought of Plexus and legged it. 

Very wise. 

Anon 03 June 23 20:07

@ Insurance man 02 June 23 20:17

“n.b DACB now rarely seen of complex insurance litigation which is where the money is.”

That’s where Clyde’s come in…

Insurance lawyer 04 June 23 12:13

@ Anon 03 June 23 20:07

@ Insurance man 02 June 23 20:17

DACB does still have a big presence in the complex insurance stuff (eg 'specialty' insurance claims against corporates, attracting higher rates) but I believe these teams are part of the proper LLP and are based in London (or overseas).  The "Claims Solutions Group" seems to do lower rate personal injury/volume stuff.  Defendant insurance firms are increasingly pushing their PI/volume work out to the regions as it simply isn't profitable doing it in London anymore due to the low rates.  I'll bet the LLP/CSG divide at DACB reflects a growing rift between the firm's London HQ and its regional offices.   

Walter Mitty 09 June 23 07:51

Selling CSG would be a great move for all sides. The only reason for an internal backlash will have been due to lack of transparency and lack of communication, which is a regular occurrence, not just within DACB's leadership ranks, but within most firms. The PI sector has had a constant fisting from all corners, and insurers continue to drive fees down, even for cat injury and large loss. Salaries are utterly disgusting for PI lawyers (particularly Defendant PI).

For the remaining PI lawyers, they've resigned to the fact that they're stuck, and they either play the waiting game chasing the partnership carrot (and a life of misery as a PI partner), or death, whichever comes first. The smarter ones, who are less institutionalised and value their own wellbeing, have already left the sector (either retrained or left the law completely), or moved in-house.

Insurers really need to ramp up their in-house efforts. There aren't many players with sizeable in-house legal teams, so it could be a sensible fit for an insurer - Zurich or Allianz for example - to acquire CSG. This would be a win-win all around; DACB LLP are happy; The purchasing insurer is happy; PI lawyers get a lifeline by moving in-house, and maybe enjoying life. There will be inevitable job losses, as with any acquisition, so I guess it's win-win-lose... 

First EY abandon Everest, now DACB... makes you wonder whether the suits at the helm have their lights off.... 

Walter Mitty 09 June 23 07:54

Plexus are several levels below DACB. Management are potty, lawyers aren't great. A certain Leeds partner hires only fit blondes.... It's a shame that DACB get uttered in the same breath as Plexus, but such is the industry..... 

Related News