OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a £5M working capital facility to Lyons Davidson, a law firm with over 650 employees across offices in Bristol (head office), Leeds, Solihull, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Founded in 1972, Lyons Davidson provides legal services to consumers on behalf of its insurance partners which include blue-chip brands such as LV=, Admiral, Saga and Direct Line. It specialises in personal injury and civil law claims, in addition to providing consumer and business, defendant and recoveries legal services and claims in Scotland. The level of technology employed by Lyons Davidson is a key differentiator to other legal services providers in the market and has been central to the success of its partnership model with insurance operators.
The loan from OakNorth Bank comes at an ideal time with new government reform of personal injury claims coming in to force at the end of this month, with Lyons Davidson well positioned in the legal expense insurance sector to work closely with insurers in the new environment. The reforms will reduce the claims lifecycle and also the working capital cycles of businesses such as Lyons Davidson. It is likely to lead to increased demand for its services, as insurers consolidate away from more traditional providers which are unable or unwilling to provide efficient technology based solutions. The business is also seeing significant growth in its Civil Division, securing opportunities with Household and Commercial Legal Expense Insurers – the facility will provide the working capital to support this expansion.
Mark Savill, Managing Director of Lyons Davidson, commented on the transaction: “Since our launch almost 50 years ago, we’ve focused on growing a business that provides outstanding legal service which is accessible and affordable to clients with a strong digital customer journey. The last year has been extremely challenging for the industry as COVID-19 lockdowns led to a significant reduction in claims volume. However, with new government reform coming into effect at the end of this month, there’s a unique opportunity for tech-native firms like ours that can also deliver a high level of customer service, to gain additional market share and further strengthen relationships with our insurance partners. We’re therefore grateful to the team at OakNorth Bank who were able to move quickly to ensure we got the funding in time for the new reform coming into effect.”
Stuart Blair, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “The upcoming industry reform will likely lead to increased consolidation in the market and allow companies such as Lyons Davidson to bill far earlier, improving their working capital cycle. Due to its large scale and technology expertise, the business is well-positioned to benefit in a consolidating market. Lyons Davidson has been with its current funder, Lloyds, for over 30 years, so this transaction is a great example of a challenger bank winning over a traditional high street lender.”
 Source: IBIS World – General Insurance in the UK – Pg. 9 “Insurance risks: A rise in claims pay-outs due to COVID-19 is anticipated to negatively affect industry revenue” (December 2020)
Notes to editors
About OakNorth Bank plc
Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.
It has borrowers across a variety of sectors, including: healthcare (nursing homes and retirement villages), consumer goods, vehicle and parts manufacturing, capital goods manufacturing, household professional services (including educational services), nurseries, business support services, hospitality and recreation (including hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars, fast food outlets and limited service restaurants), SME residential and commercial property development and investment.
It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Visit www.oaknorth.co.uk for more information.
Valentina Kristensen, Director, Growth & Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org / 0757 234 9009