Summit merges in-house teams for Woolf

MOTORING insurance company Summit at Lloyd's has integrated its in-house and claims-handling teams.

The merged team – called Just Law – is to be launched on 26 April in response to the Woolf Reforms.

Hazel Hammonds, principal solicitor at Summit, says that by merging the teams the firm will be able to respond more quickly to claims under the new rules, without having to refer work to outside lawyers.

“The Woolf Reforms mean that litigation starts with the first letter of a claim from the litigators' solicitors. Insurers without an in-house legal team will send this out to lawyers, whereas we can deal with it in-house.

“The claims team will be working closely with us if it needs advice on liability under the new pre-action protocol.

“We will have an integrated team with integrated IT systems and processes, which will minimise delays and ensure better case and expense control.”

Just Law is one of the first legal practices to operate under a distinct brand following the recent relaxing of Law Society rules.

The merged team will consist of five lawyers and eight technical claims staff.