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EAGLE Star Insurance has become the latest insurer to set up its own in-house legal team in an attempt to control legal costs.
Personal claims manager Chris Dore said that the team would "initially" consist of two solicitors and five articled clerks, although the scheme is being treated as pilot project and could expand later.
He stressed there were no plans to disband the existing panel of solicitors, although there would be "some reduction" in their workload.
The in-house team, due to begin work this week, will focus on routine motor accident claims while panel members will handle the more complex cases
The department is to be based in Liverpool and will cover the north west of England.
Dore said there were currently no plans to extend the pilot to other Eagle Star offices around the country.
Eagle Star made the move because uncomplicated cases could be dealt with "quicker and more economically" in-house.
The move looks set to become part of a trend among large insurance companies.
Insurer Royal Sun Alliance also set up an in-house team at its Manchester office a few months ago.