Plexus parent Parabis prepares for ABS conversion

Parabis Group, the parent of  Plexus Law and Cogent Law, is to plough investment into developing specialist legal teams ahead of converting to an alternative business structure (ABS) when the Legal Services Act (LSA) is implemented.

The Parabis Group owns several umbrella companies, including outsourced claims company Parabis Ltd and liability loss adjusters Argent Liability Adjusters.

Insurance firm Plexus Law specialises in defendant claims work for the London insurance market while Cogent Law is its claimant equivalent.

The long-term aim is to convert into an ABS to allow the firms to merge with the companies and offer end-to-end litigation services.

Plexus senior partner and Parabis chief executive Tim Oliver said the structure of the ABS would not be decided upon until the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) publishes guidelines on how they will be policed.

“Until there’s final published rules and we’re comfortable we can operate within those we’ll not convert,” Oliver said.

Earlier this week Parabis Group took its first step into the reinsurance claims handling market through the acquisition of audit and inspections company Turnstone. It will sit alongside Argent Liability Adjusters within the Parabis Group.

Oliver said the firm had ploughed investment into its volume arm and was now looking to branch out into specialist areas, starting with reinsurance.

Plexus Law has appointed former AIG in-house counsel Darren Hanison to lead the reinsurance practice. Formerly Hanison, a UK-qualified lawyer, was based in New York, where he was AIG’s assistant general counsel for international property and casualty reinsurance.

“We already have a highly developed offering for insurers and are committed to developing an equally strong range of services for reinsurers,” Oliver said.

The firm is also looking to build a marine and aviation practice through lateral hires.

“The hope and intention is to continue growing our core areas,” he said. “We have a large professional indemnity team, and now we want to grow out into the specialist areas.”