Defendant

The Defendant Division provides an expert service to major national insurance companies, motor fleets and the self-insured market.

Underpinning all the services we offer is expert knowledge in each subject area, and a focus on commercial reality and controlling gross claims spend. However, when claims are defended we do so aggressively and we litigate to win.

Defendant Operations Group

The Operations Group handles all claims below £100,000 in gross reserve value:
•    Motor pre-litigation claims handling
•    Non-motor pre-litigation claims handling
•    Motor litigation
•    Non-motor litigation

High-value and complex claims

Our High Value & Complex Claims Group is based in our Solihull office. It provides the tactical experience and knowledge acquired over many years’ handling of these claims, as expected by our insurer clients. The team runs a referral system with our Operations team to ensure that any claims with significant potential are thoroughly investigated and the claimant and their representatives are put to proof on each and every element of the claim. The team have developed an enviable network of QC’s, Senior and Junior Counsel and experts in all areas of high-value claims.

The Solihull office is also home to two other specialist teams: the dedicated Counterclaim Group, which represents our insurer clients and their insured customers in pursuing their own claims and defending claims brought against them. It is led by Perminder Devgun.

The non-claims handling services we offer include:

  • Benchmarking & proof-of-concept projects
  • Audit
  • Training
  • Mediation

General insurance law services

The insurance contract is the platform on which all other related aspects of insurance law are based. Knowledge and understanding of the principles of insurance law are vital to carrying out insurance-related work. The majority of work undertaken by the team revolves around policy interpretation, contractual disputes between insurer and insured often surrounding non-disclosure, misrepresentation and utmost good faith issues.

The department has many years’ experience of working in or closely with the insurance industry and therefore we thoroughly understand insurers’ working practices.

Pre-litigation claims handling

Our specialist team of claims handlers, many of whom have extensive experience in the insurance industry, handle claims for our insurer client partners either in Lyons Davidson’s name or as a white-label product as required by the insurer or fleet. Our pre-litigation teams operate in all claims areas and a particular specialism has been built in the motor market on claims running within the MOJ Portal and claims that exit the MOJ Portal. We have full A2A functionality and extensive MI capability when using our own system. Our claims handlers have extensive experience of using our insurer partners’ claims systems.  For Employers Liability & Public Liability claims, contact Leearna Wright.

The majority of our pre-litigation services operate in low-value claims. We offer a dedicated service to our insurer clients focusing on early intervention and early expert involvement in the high value pre-litigation claims arena. Early intervention and specific services such as ‘What is the Claimant Thinking?’, a report specifically designed to assist insurer clients to establish the correct reserve and tactics to be deployed in any given case. This service has been particularly effective in assisting insurers in claims where the claimant solicitor has not been forthcoming in the provision of information.

Motor litigation claims handling

In sub-£100,000 motor claims, Michelle Jones leads the experienced teams dealing with injury claims.  We act for a wide range of insurers, from those who are intermediary-led to those with a direct book and we have developed a detailed understanding of all aspects of the motor market. We seek to bring best practice and class-leading claims handling to all that we do. The team can also provide specialist advice on credit hire and property damage claims.

In addition to our operations team based in Cardiff, we have an onsite presence at Whitstable, Swansea and Birmingham for three insurer clients. Our in-house teams service the specific needs of our insurer clients in these areas. For more information on our in-house teams,  contact Emma Baker.

Employers’ liability & public liability litigation

We act for a range of insurers and self-insured clients in this complex area. We have long been recognised as a company with considerable knowledge of employers liability and public liability matters and an understanding of the employer-employee relationship is crucial to achieving the desired outcome for the client. We have many years’ experience of dealing with claims arising from ownership or occupation of premises, whether it is injuries to visitors, structural defects or escapes from premises that have caused injury or loss.

Counterclaims

Perminder Devgun, supported by Andy Vraitch, is part of a team of expert litigators, all of whom have experience in claimant and defendant motor claims and provide this specialist and market-leading service to our insurer and lay clients alike. Ensuring that the lay client’s claim is pursued aggressively and at the same time protecting the insurers costs exposure is a skill in itself. Counterclaims will by their nature lead to more contested hearings than other areas and through their experience and expertise Perminder and the team achieve a significant success rate at trial. Perminder has also developed a keen interest in dealing with RTA litigation involving emergency response vehicles.

Criminal motor defence services

A motoring prosecution is an extremely stressful event for any client and, with more prosecutions being initiated than ever, a growing number of drivers face points on their licence, fines and disqualification from driving and the potentially life-changing impact that a custodial sentence may have. Our specialist team ensures that clients are provided with honest and impartial advice on the prosecution they face. We advise and support the client through the charge and interview process and also through the court process. Where a charge should be defended in full, we have no hesitation in advising a ‘not-guilty’ plea but, where the appropriate course of action is to enter a ‘guilty’ plea, then we focus on minimising the penalty.

For our insurer clients, we ensure that the work undertaken in preparing for and representing the client in the Magistrates and Crown Court delivers real benefit in the inevitable civil claim that follows.

Our Motor Legal Defence team also put their expert knowledge to good effect advising and representing witness and insurers on cases proceedings through the Coroner’s Court.

For more information contact us.

Mediation

Within the division, we have a number of qualified mediators who are on hand to assist our insurer clients with preparing for mediation.

Additional services

We do not view the relationship with our insurer clients as simply a claims-handling relationship but seek to build partnerships with them by working collaboratively to draw on our best practice experience from across the market. Supplementing our best practice evaluations is the unique insight that we bring by having access to the significant MI and tactical perspective of our Claimant Division. We have been retained by numerous clients on Benchmarking & Proof of Concept Projects, such as the use of pre-medical offers.

We also offer an audit function to insurer clients, where our experienced team bring litigators’ claims-handling experience to any audit.

Our dedicated Defendant Training resource is available to all of our insurer clients, providing a wide range of training topics from black letter law to soft-skills training.

Our Experts

Katherine Howells-Price

Katherine Howells-Price

Scotland and Specialist Litigation Divisional Manager

Email: khowells-price@lyonsdavidson.co.uk

Direct Dial: 0117 904 7002


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