Allianz launches legal business with new ABS licence

Allianz has been granted an ABS licence for the launch of ALP Law in conjunction with catastrophic injury firm Serious Law. 

ALP Law will provide legal advice to Allianz private motor policyholders, if they suffer a personal injury following an accident where they were not at fault.

Serious Law managing partner Tim Walters is listed as head of legal practice for the new firm and senior partner John Sherington the head of finance and administration at ALP Law.

Under the SRA licence ALP Law is regulated to undertake rights of audience, conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, and administration of oaths.

The licence includes a waiver that applies to prohibited separate business activities currently undertaken by Allianz, including: cost drafting; the conduct of third party claims and claims handling, not including litigation; holding positions as trustees and acting as directors of companies which act as trustees of trusts connected with the business of Allianz, and the provision of a legal advice line and the provision of template legal documents.

Allianz head of legal protection claims James Barclay argued that the new structure would prevent the addition of “layers of costs to the legal claims process”.

Allianz is the latest of a growing raft of insurance companies to gain ABS status and launch regulated legal businesses.

FTSE100 insurer Admiral was an early mover and stepped into the legal sector via two ABS joint ventures, with Bristol-based claims specialist Lyons Davidson and Cardiff-based compensation firm Cordner Lewis last Spring (8 April 2013).

Then, in May, insurance business BGL Group, the owners of insurance website, acquired volume personal injury firm Minster Law (31 May 2013).

The AA, which merged with over-50s insurer Saga in 2007 (2 July 2007), was granted an ABS licence by the SRA after launching a joint venture with Bristol-based Lyons Davidson in November (5 November 2013).

Insurance giant Direct Line Group was the latest outfit to move into the legal sector through the launch of an ABS in January  announced it had been authorised as an ABS (31 January 2014).