Thornton Legal meets...Alan Sellers

Alan Sellers was called to the Bar in 1991 at the Gray's Inn Bar and is currently practising from the Liverpool Civil Law Chambers. Alan was one of the founders of the business and has been instrumental in forming Anexo Group plc. Anexo Group plc includes the leading personal injury law firm Bond Turner. 

In November 2020 it was announced that Alan and Sam Moss, Bond Turner's Managing Director, were selling some of their shares in Anexo Group to a private equity investor with them receiving £46 million in return. 

Click here for his website profile and here for Anexo's Linkedin profile. 

  • Tell us about your background, and your role at Anexo?

I originally qualified as a solicitor but transferred to the Bar 30 years ago and I've practised as a barrister ever since. I think it's fair to say that my practice has been synonymous with credit hire for longer than I care to remember but I also enjoy dealing with professional negligence, clinical negligence and all manner of civil litigation matters.

I am the Chairman of Anexo Group but continue to practise as one of Anexo's in-house team of barristers and very much still enjoy that aspect of the job.

  • What is Anexo and how does it stand out from the crowd?

The origins of the Group were the establishment of a standalone credit hire business in 1996 which relied on a panel of law firms to recover costs from insurers.

We have moved on a lot from those formative years and have created something of a unique business model by combining a direct capture credit hire business with a wholly owned legal services firm. The integrated, direct capture proposition is essential to the Group providing a complete managed service whilst also managing its risk.

  • How’s business?

Very good, thank you. We have just delivered our results for the Financial Year 2020, which were extremely encouraging.

In spite of the Covid 19 Pandemic, the Group has performed very well. Our legal services division, Bond Turner, has expanded significantly and we have continued to focus on increasing cash settlements wall using our working capital to fund further growth in our credit high division, Direct Accident Management.

  • What has the last 12 months taught you?

Just how robust and adaptable the staff have been across all of our teams, from senior management all the way down to first response. We place great value in the people who work for Anexo and are grateful for their contributions.

The group has shown considerable resilience throughout 2020 and into 2021 with both business divisions remaining fully operational. We were quick to move most of our staff members to remote working last year and managed to remain fully operational. The progression and settlement of cases was ultimately aided by moves from the Ministry of Justice to allow the remote operation of courts through online and telephone hearings.

  • What is the outlook for the next 12 months?

Very optimistic. We are in a strong financial position and will look to continue to grow organically given the significance investments made over the last 2 years.

One of the key drivers for the growth in cash collections has been the investments in legal staff. In 2019, the number of senior fee earners at Bond Turner grew by almost 43% to reach 127 by the end of the year. Further recruitment in 2020 resulted in headcount growing by a further 18 and we will continue to look to recruit top quality people as this is fundamental to support the increased number of funded cases we are expecting over the next 12 months.

  • What opportunities can you see?

I think that the arrival of DBAY Advisors Ltd as a significant shareholder in Anexo is very exciting. This coupled with what we hope will be a return to some semblance of normality over the coming months means that there is real positivity that we can continue the expansion of our main business divisions and ultimately create value for all of our shareholders.

  • What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career to date?

I am lucky to have played a key role in the development and management of the Group's business since its inception. I'm proud of the fact that this culminated in the group being admitted to trading on AIM in June 2018.

  • Recruiting is a challenge for all law businesses, why should someone choose Bond Turner?

I think that the three main drivers for candidates when it comes to recruitment into Bond Turner are; job security, career advancement and decent rewards. We have a proven track record of providing all three and continue to attract good quality recruits from both claimant and defendant orientated law firms. We have been helped in this by the appointment of a dedicated in-house recruiter who works in tandem with a small number of valued recruitment companies.

  • Finally, tell us a bit about your interests outside of work? What is it you like doing?

My family and my work keep me extremely busy, but when I do manage to get some downtime, you will probably find me on my road bike, either around Cumbria where I live, or in Tenerife where I like to go on holiday. They both have some great hills!