Speed Medical turnover to hit £50m with new acquisition

Speed Medical has underlined its growing dominance in the medico-legal marketplace by acquiring Liverpool's Medical Legal Appointments Ltd (MLA), a specialist in occupation-related claims.

[caption id="attachment_25459" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="261"]Graham Pulford and avid Edmondson Graham Pulford and David Edmondson[/caption]

The Chorley firm was already the UK's largest independent provider of medical reports, rehabilitation and ancillary services used in the resolution of personal injury claims.

MLA specialises in legal cases relating to conditions such as asbestosis, vibration white finger and noise induced hearing loss, where it has established itself as the UK's leading medical agency. The deal was completed for an undisclosed sum.

Speed's managing director Graham Pulford said: "This purchase fits perfectly into our longer-term growth and diversification plans and is a progressive move in the current climate, demonstrating both our strength and ambition.

"Work on industrial disease cases accounted for around five per cent of our business prior to the purchase of MLA but now, that figure will rise to almost 15%. Our greater scale will also help us to increase our turnover to around the £50m mark this year and we expect the newly joined businesses to produce in excess of 100,000 medical reports."

Speed has no plans to rebrand MLA, which was originally established over two decades ago. It will remain headquartered in Liverpool, and all of the current directors, management and staff - some 40 people - will be staying with the business.

MLA's founder, chief executive and outright owner since 2007, David Edmondson, who will be taking up a new role as a director of the combined entity, said: "Some consolidation among medical agencies is inevitable but that's not what this deal is about.

"We both saw the chance to capitalise on current strengths as well as the potential for brand new opportunities. By merging and boosting our knowledge, contacts and resources, we believe we can deliver the scope, performance and efficiency this fast changing industry demands in a way that no other medical agency can match. That's why this move is so exciting."