Anglian Water is set to impose a legal panel on its insurance claims handler Willis.
The formation of the panel poses a threat to Willis’s regular advisers Herbert Smith and East Anglian insurance specialist Prettys.
“If someone damages our pipes and we put in a claim, it will go to Willis in the normal way. Rather than them just instructing a firm down the road we’ll specify which firm they should instruct,” explained Anglia Water’s head of legal Nita Tinn.
The panel is likely to comprise one or two smaller local firms and one or two bigger firms for larger claims. Tinn conducted a similar exercise following the company’s restructuring two years ago, when she appointed Linklat-ers to deal with corporate, tax, banking and insurance issues.
Tinn believes that the panel will allow her to monitor firms’ performances better. She said: “Very often there could be claims that have a significant effect on our reputation. Maybe because the lawyers are charging whatever they are charging, it could be pushing up our premiums. The fact that we can actually control it more is important.”