About Recovery First


The concept for Recovery First came from its managing director, David Johnstone and operations director, Sally Dunscombe, based on their firsthand experience of running off books of claimant personal injury (PI) work.

David was a director of the Scheme Administrator for a business that provided loan funding to firms of solicitors. In 2008, the loan book was placed into run off and it was necessary to follow the cases through to conclusion to ensure the recovery of the loan. This experience, particularly with those firms that had failed or exited the personal injury arena, led to the idea of Recovery First.

Meanwhile, Sally was managing director of asb aspire, the volume PI claimant arm of asb law (and a client of David), which was placed into run off under her leadership.
Working together, they developed the idea of panel firms and the benefits of breaking the work up across a number of parties.

Niche market

Recognising that for insolvency practitioners, accountants, restructuring and corporate recovery specialists, PI is just one small sector of their work, Recovery First was designed to be used as a resource with specialist knowledge of this market.

Working with Recovery First means advisers are able to build the relationship with their client, while using our expertise and experience of the business economics and legislative changes in the PI industry.

We know those solicitors you work with, who are exiting the industry, face many challenges as they attempt to realise the value that has been built up in their business. Likewise, we realise banks and lenders also face challenges when attempting to exit a relationship with a business in a distressed situation.

  • Running off a book involves significant cost and is fraught with motivational and behaviour drivers
  • Reducing the size of a team in line with the outstanding case loads is challenging and makes it difficult to maximise efficiencies and maintain profitability
  • Retaining key staff is difficult as good employees will resign rather than wait to be pushed (unless heavily incentivised)
  • Staff not looking to move on their own terms will maximise case duration as opposed to seeking settlement and liquidating the asset

Recovery First has therefore devised a structured and manageable process that allows a smooth period of transition for all involved and is already working with a number of firms throughout the UK, managing the recovery of the value in books of personal injury business to maximise the value extracted from WIP.


The team

David Johnstone

Managing Director

Louisa Wallace

Head Office Team

Sally Dunscombe

Operations Director

Linda Dobson

Accounts Team



IT Director

Louise Fletcher

Operations Team

Victoria Morrison-Huges

Costs Lawyer

Nick Myatt

Administration and Costs Executive

It's never too late to speak to Recovery First. Contact us now in the strictest confidence

Sally Dunscombe:

07774 205 870


David Johnstone:

07887 796 989


Manchester Address

106 Kennedy Building

Murray Street


M4 6HS

Kent Address

PO Box 632