Insurer Ageas launches ABS with Cardiff’s NewLaw

Insurance group Ageas UK has received approval to launch a legal offering for its customers, becoming one of the first insurers to set up an ABS to provide legal advice.

Ageas Law will start trading from 8 April after it obtained the go-ahead from the SRA on 28 March. It will offer legal services for customers making non-fault personal injury claims through a partnership with Cardiff-based specialist personal injury firm NewLaw Solicitors.

The tie-up is structured as a five-year limited partnership arrangement between Ageas Legal, an LLP, and limited company NewLaw Legal.

The partnership will provide access to legal services to manage personal injury claims sustained after a motor incident.

Ageas’s listing on the SRA’s website confirming Cardiff-registered Ageas Law’s licence as an ABS states that NewLaw compliance and risk partner Adele Jones is its head of legal practice. It lists the business’s licenced activities as rights of audience, conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities and administration of oaths.

The news comes after NewLaw itself converted to an ABS in 2012 (24 April 2012).

Andy Watson, CEO of Ageas UK, the UK arm of Belgian and Dutch insurance group Ageas Group, formerly Fortis, said in a statement: “The objective of launching Ageas Law is to provide Ageas customers with access to a claims service above market norms. Creating this partnership provides our customers with a one-stop, high-quality journey, with fewer hand-offs to third-party suppliers. Our approach is to enable our customers to access a legal solution that can be trusted. The expertise that NewLaw has in this field helps us to achieve this standard”

NewLaw strategic partnerships director Philip Dicken added: “The partnership will provide Ageas customers with an integrated claims service, improving the overall customer proposition, at the point when a customer may need to claim for personal injury. At the same time, working together brings an opportunity to improve access to justice, a stated aim of the Legal Services Act, as well as increase consumer confidence in legal services and drive fraudulent and spurious claims from the process.”