Russell Jones & Walker (RJW) has sought to distance its New Claims Direct service from that of The Accident Group (TAG), which collapsed last week, as well as from the old Claims Direct service, which RJW purchased in February 2003.

TAG was placed into administration on Friday (30 May) causing RJW immediately to issue a statement claiming that New Claims Direct is a completely different animal to its failed predecessors.

“The Accident Group’s complex business model, which included referral fees, insurance products and credit, did little to engender favourable public opinion, and ultimately the approval of the courts. The British public want transparent, ethical assistance to obtain fair compensation for their injuries. This is what New Claims Direct and Russell Jones & Walker offer,” said RJW managing partner and chairman of New Claims Direct, Neil Kinsella.

Leading personal injury lawyer Kerry Underwood, senior partner at Under-woods, told The Lawyer: “These companies (The Accident Group and Claims Direct) were masquerading as claims management companies which were referring work but, in fact, were making their money from inflated insurance premiums – and that was never going to last,” he said.

Costs judge Master Hurst recently ruled that the company would have to halve its after-the-event insurance premium from around £900 to around £450.

“I’m surprised that it has taken this long for the courts to put them under. Good riddance. Good riddance to Claims Direct, good riddance to The Accident Group and good riddance to any others that are doing the same. It’s a good day for the British public,” said an entirely unsympathetic Underwood.