German giant Allianz has become the latest insurer to enter the legal services market with an alternative business structure.
The company has set up a legal services division named ALP Law in partnership with catastrophic injury specialist Serious Law.
The firm’s managing partner Tim Walters has been named as head of legal practice of the new entity, which is licensed to undertake rights of audience, conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities and administration of oaths.
In a statement, Allianz said the new partnership will ensure its customers are awarded 100% of their damages if ALP Law handles their case.
James Barclay, head of legal protection claims, said: ‘The new structure introduced through ALP Law will not add layers of costs to the legal claims process but will ensure that Allianz customers with a genuine need for legal support receive the highest possible level of service.’
Allianz UK is one of the largest general insurers in the country and part of the Allianz Group, which employs around 144,000 people worldwide.
It is the latest insurer to take advantage of the Legal Services Act allowing non-law firms to offer legal services.
Direct Line launched its ABS earlier this month, joining the likes of Ageas and Admiral who opened legal services providers last year in conjunction with existing law firms.
As with other insurers authorised as an ABS, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has placed a number of conditions on the ALP licence.
No claims work can be transferred from ALP Law to Allianz other than where Allianz then refers the matter to another authorised entity.
Where work is transferred from Allianz to ALP Law, it must be made transparent to the client in writing the point at which ALP takes conduct of a matter.
The branding logo for ALP Law must be ‘sufficiently different’ from that of Allianz to identify them as separate businesses, although ALP can use ‘Allianz’ as part of its trading name.
Meanwhile, Admiral has reported it acquired singificant stakes in two law firms as part of its ABS licence secured last year.
The statement said: ‘Bringing the provision of legal services into the group will allow Admiral to administer a claim throughout the process and offer a materially better quality of service.’
The businesses are not expected to make a ‘material contribution’ to group profits in the foreseeable future.