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Claims handling group PI Direct has been forced to set up a new law firm so that it can comply with Law Society rules after winning a new contract from Hiscox Insurance Company.
Hiscox has recently appointed PI Direct to manage a portion of its claims handling and litigation work. Under Law Society rules, PI Direct's in-house lawyers must comply with the society's employed solicitors code because the claims they are handling are underwritten by PI Direct and not by an external company.
However, any work carried out by PI Direct's lawyers on Hiscox's claims would be in breach of the rules. To combat this, PI Direct has set up a separate law firm called Martello Law. The new firm will be run as a sole practitioner by senior solicitor Simon Oliver and will handle all the litigation and legal advice on the Hiscox claims.
Martello Law is set to grow quickly over the next few years, with Michael Wood, chief executive at PI Direct, looking to increase its claims handling capabilities.
"The new law firm puts our company in a unique position," commented Wood. "We expect the firm to grow and we want to take on more outsourcing contracts over the next two years."