CIS to cut two-thirds of panel

The Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) is set to slash its panel of external legal advisers by two-thirds.


The Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) is set to slash its panel of external legal advisers by two-thirds.

CIS instructs 27 firms across England and Wales to carry out personal injury (PI), litigation and claims work. As part of a wider review of its claims infrastructure, it is planning to cut that number to possibly as few as six firms.

CIS’s head of claims Steve Roberts said the review was sparked because, at present, not all the panel firms get an equal amount of work.

The review is due to begin at the end of April, when invitations will be sent to current panel firms asking them to tell CIS about the way they work. The list will then be narrowed. Roberts said he expected the process to be completed by the summer.

“Quality is the number one criteria,” said Roberts. “We’re looking at a sensible price.”

He added that it is essential for external advisers to understand PI work and said that CIS will also be asking firms about their corporate accountability policies.

CIS’s current advisers include Davies Lavery, Hill Dickinson and Weightmans; DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has also undertaken some work for the society.

Roberts said that CIS will not necessarily choose a large firm of solicitors, pointing out that individual expertise is also important.