Bond Pearce pre-litigation unit targets insurers

SOUTH OF England firm Bond Pearce has set up a dedicated pre-litigation unit for its top-end insurance clients.

The unit will be headed by partners Bettina Rigg and Neil Trayhurn.

Trayhurn says: “We bel-ieve that our pre-litigation unit is the first of its kind in the UK.”

Senior claims specialist Daren Pemberton says: “We foresaw Woolf would cha-nge things radically.”

He claims the group is unique in combining law-yers with non-lawyer claims managers.

It also offers a range of services, from claims investigation, claims management and delegated auth- ority services to pre-litigation consultancy services, file management and audit review. “We are flexible about the way in which it is going to develop.”

The firm consulted its clients to design the “one- stop shop” service, which is designed to reduce costs.

A City source says it is unclear whether it is necessary to set up a separate insurance unit to advise during the pre-litigation phase. But he confirms the initial phase will assume greater importance following Lord Woolf's reforms.

Norton Rose insurance partner Francis Mackie says: “Our clients will certainly expect us to be giving advice on pre-litigation, including the pitfalls.”