Personal injury firm Minster Law has launched its own digital claims portal as part of a £5m upgrade to be ready for next year’s reforms.

The INK portal is being advertised directly to insurers looking for ways to handle whiplash claims. The system can handle hundreds of thousands of claims a year, the Yorkshire-based firm says. 

As of next April, RTA claims valued less than £5,000 will go through a portal which is in theory designed for claimants without legal representation.

The changes have forced many firms to exit the low-value claims market, but a handful of bigger players are getting themselves ready to automate their systems and handle cases on lower margins.

Shirley Woolham, chief executive of Minster Law, said 16,000 customers have had personal injury claims handled through the new system since July and within six months it is set to apply to 95% of claims.

‘This is not just a shiny piece of front-end kit with a clunky back office sat behind it,’ said Woolham. ‘As well as the customer-facing portal, we have spent £5m re-developing our entire back office operation to enable INK to scale immediately and handle anything from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of volume injury claims.’

The firm says the system can be built in to the Ministry of Justice portal and adapted to cope with whatever new rules are created for that process.

Woolham said that INK underlines Minster Law’s status as a ‘reform ready’ legal services firm, and said it is the first digital claims operation in the sector to perform high quality claims processing at scale.

She added: ‘As well as onboarding customers from our existing partners, we are talking to a number of other potential insurer partners as there is no limit to INK’s processing ability.

‘Insurers wanting a super low-cost volume injury claims service with very high levels of customer satisfaction should come and talk to us.’

Minster Law was founded in 2003 and is based in Wakefield. It settles around 2,200 cases every month. Accounts for the year ending 30 June showed profits down 42% to £1.1m, based on a small drop in turnover to £34.1m. Woolham said the result was a ‘a considerable achievement in light of the exceptional trading conditions created as a result of Covid 19’.