By Peter Frankl.

Slater and Gordon is reporting declining revenue at the same time as its arch-rival is reporting significant gains. Shine Lawyers achieved revenue in the December 2017 half-year of $88 million. Of this total, $58 million was categorised as personal injury and $30 million as emerging practice areas. 

Slater and Gordon is abandoning general law in favour of focusing on its personal injury business. For the December 2017 half-year, Slater and Gordon reported personal injury revenue of $83 million. This was a 4.5% decline compared to the previous equivalent period and part of a longer term decline, at least since 2014, when it reported $99 million revenue for personal injury.

Whereas Slater and Gordon suffered a 4.5% decline in personal injury revenue, Shine Lawyers experienced a 6.2% increase. In its emerging practice areas, Shine Lawyers experienced a 57% increase. Much of the strong performance in the half-year was due to class action cases.

Shine Lawyers had a profitable half-year with EBITDA increasing 61.73% to $16.5 million, which represents a margin of 18.67% to revenue. 

According to an IBISworld report, Slater and Gordon, Shine Lawyers and Maurice Blackburn together hold 29% market share for personal and workplace injury work. It is not clear whether market share shifts are occurring amongst these firms or the many other smaller firms that hold 71% market share.

While Slater and Gordon is getting out of family law, Shine Lawyers is considering opportunities to build a national family law practice. 

Slater and Gordon’s expenditure on advertising and business development has been declining while Shine Lawyers’ expenditure has been increasing. They are approaching very similar levels.

Depending on how quickly Slater and Gordon general law revenue runs down and if the rate of decline in its personal injury revenue continues, it looks increasingly likely that Shine Lawyers’ Australian revenue will overtake that of Slater and Gordon in what will be a milestone event.

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