Claims Direct is planning an overhaul of its panel law firms. The personal injury (PI) claims service has decided to reduce the number of firms it instructs as part of a reorganisation and cost-cutting exercise. At one time Claims Direct had around 350 law firms on its panel; now there is an interim panel of around 30 firms in existence. Claims Direct has taken the unprecedented step of inviting former panel firms to submit an application to join the new panel, which will operate on a revised basis. The application will consider such issues as: what percentage of a firm's work is PI; what IT systems are in place (the firms will be expected to operate a computerised claims management system and to complete information processes online); and a firm's performance in relation to settlement periods; cases issued and types of cases accepted will also be monitored. The Scottish firms on Claims Direct's panel are subject to different systems to the UK panel firms, but Claims Direct chief operating officer David Gravell confirmed that they, too, will be subject to the review in around a month. Gravell would not confirm which UK firms were on the existing panel nor the names of firms that submitted applications.