The Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) has announced 16 new members and associate members so far in 2020. *
The trade association, which was launched in January 2019 and represents the interests of consumers and companies who support them in the civil justice system, now has 60 full and associate members with a combined turnover in excess of £1billion.
According to ACSO executive director Matthew Maxwell Scott, the substantial increase in membership is partly down to the firms "buying into our view that the claims sector is best served by a single, powerful voice that has the interests of consumers as its core purpose."
He noted: "We have substantially broadened our remit to cover areas of civil justice where our industry had no voice at all, such as claims management company regulation and legal expenses insurance, both of which have a huge social impact. We're now active in nine core policy areas which are all connected to supporting consumers in the civil justice system.
"We're also delighted to welcome lawtech firms such as Rocket Lawyer, NuvaLaw and Zeus Technology Solutions, who will play a key role in guiding our ambition to improve access to justice through technology, not least during the Covid pandemic, which has caused a growing backlog in civil cases."
ACSO is also taking on responsibility for the rehabilitation sector, after sector lobby group Together4Rehab decided to fold into ACSO.
Mr Maxwell Scott said: "We worked closely with Together4Rehab members to agree remote arrangements with the ABI during lockdown and it became clear that their interests would be better served by being part of a bigger organisation."
He said that the claims industry, which makes a substantial contribution to the UK economy, has been poorly served by disaggregation and lack of focus when a united voice would have better served it and its consumer better.
Mr Maxwell Scott said that the pandemic had accelerated a sense that the industry needed to coalesce in order to defend consumer interests. "There are big questions in respect of access to justice and the rights of consumers in a 2020s recessionary economy that cannot be answered by a myriad of small special-interest groups.
"ACSO's mission is to be the natural home for reputable claims businesses who are passionate about the service they provide consumers in their hour of need. We're looking forward to building our membership base even further during the coming months."
*The new ACSO members, who joined the organisation in 2020, are:
- 3D Rehab
- BCR Legal Group
- Bush & Co
- CBT Clinics
- IRN Research
- MAG (Motorcycle Action Group)
- MMA Digital
- National Accident Law
- Rocket Lawyer
- SGI Legal
- True Solicitors
- Your Law
- Zeus Technology Solutions