Legal expenses insurer DAS is considering providing written legal advice to its policyholders once reforms allow, its legal chief told the Gazette this week.
DAS head of legal Kathryn Mortimer said that the insurer, which has already made clear its intention to acquire Bristol firm CW Law after alternative business structures go live on 6 October, might add an e-mail and letter advice service to its existing legal advice phone service.
The insurer is also considering integrating its free legal advice line with CW Law, so that CW Law deals with referrals from the advice line, if the acquisition goes ahead.
Mortimer said that the advice line takes around 125,000 calls and generates around 50,000 referrals every year, which are currently passed to DAS’s panel firms, including CW Law.
‘There is massive potential to convert the calls into fee-earning work, if the client takes that option,’ she said.
‘We have a mass of claims that we are currently outsourcing to panel firms – which we will continue to use, and which the policyholder can choose from – but there’s a huge benefit to the policyholder if the claims are seamlessly transferred.’
She added: ‘Discussions are progressing as to how we would integrate a law firm into our group.
'We have discussed it with the Solicitors Regulation Authority in terms of the new regulatory regime and how we would be able to ringfence the independence of the law firm.’
DAS participated in the SRA’s pilot for ABS acquisition applications. Mortimer said that the draft application form was ‘very lengthy’.