Halliwells kicks off fraud unit as Keoghs raid lands dedicated team

North West firm Halliwells has scooped a team of fraud specialists from rival firm Keoghs.

The team, which is headed by partner Damian Ward, has moved to form Halliwells’ new bespoke fraud unit, which will investigate fraud claims and train claims managers to improve how they detect and investigate fraud claims.

Halliwells managing partner Ian Austin said: “We wanted to launch this practice group because the market’s definitely grown in this area. We’ve heard from clients repeatedly that a fraud unit would be beneficial, so we decided to fit the right team and launch the group.”

Austin added that demands on the insurance industry have increased in recent years, creating a heightened demand for legal services in this sphere.

“It’s not just relating to individuals, but fraudulent activity carried out by groups has certainly seen a rise over the years, so there’s a need for this legal expertise,” he explained.

The fraud unit will work within Halliwells’ insurance division, but will also work very closely with other commercial departments rather than just limiting its remit to the traditional areas of motor and property insurance.

Austin said: “We’re confident that we’ve hired a great team. We started discussing this roughly a year ago. We wanted to make sure we got the team right.”

Ward, who has specialised in personal injury litigation throughout his career, has focused on fraud during the past eight years.

Keoghs was unavailable for comment.