Our credit hire team is led by two partners. They are supported by associate partners, one leading on operations and one heading a specialist technical team for the most complex cases. Three teams are located across our UK offices.
Each sub-team is supported by a designated operational lead to monitor case activity, lifecycle and quality control. To further ensure quality is maintained, all teams are subject to regular internal audit.
The team has a unique skill set given the varied backgrounds from insurers, credit hire organisations, claimant and defendant law firms. The credit hire team currently works over 25 different insurers, both GTA and non GTA members, and at pre and post litigation stages. The diverse nature of our instructions allows us to gather exceptionally detailed management information that enables us to develop and implement market leading strategies and processes.
The ideology behind such collaboration is to ensure that our clients receive a seamless and efficient service in claims where there are often overlapping issues. We believe that only by considering all parts of a claim holistically will we achieve maximum indemnity savings for the insurer.
We will always attempt to avoid the progression of proceedings where we can secure the right commercial outcome for our clients. However, we constantly seek opportunities to work with clients on aggressively pursuing the right cases through litigation to help to deal with adverse behaviours from claimants, deter future claims/litigation and reduce indemnity spend.
We ensure that an insurer’s intervention process is used to defend cases at the pre-litigation stage. This not only reduces litigation rates but increases the level of savings achievable.
The approach confirmed in Akhtar v Boland are applied wherever possible to restrict litigated claims to Small Claims Track costs.
We also make extensive use of our powerful business intelligence systems and the expertise within our specialist Intelligence Team to analyse the data on any litigated claims.
This allows us to identify trends and unreasonable behaviours from CHOs/claimant solicitors as soon as they appear and develop targeted ‘Know Your Opponent’ (KYO) strategies in response.
Our Credit Hire team also liaises closely with our specialist Fraud, Costs and Personal Injury teams.
This gives us the ability to deal with any credit hire claims that include elements of these specialities in-house. This is especially relevant in the current climate and the recent authority of Phillips v Willis.
We work best when operating as a partnership with our insurer clients. Success in credit hire is driven by what we can do at the front end of a claim – intervention, early PAV payments, repair monitoring and liability assessment. Historically this is done by the insurer or TPA. Our innovation is to be involved as a triage/outsourcing element to support the insurer in those instances. Examples of the benefits in working with clients at the earliest stages is demonstrated in the team’s involvement in the cases, which enable us to lead the way in attacking credit hire:
Copley v Lawn: Setting out clear guidance on intervention.
Clayton v EUI Ltd: Confirming that basic hire rate should be applied.
Akhtar v Boland: Making admissions to bring cases into the small claims track.
Charles v EUI Ltd: Requiring pre-action disclosure and dealing a significant blow to Bond Turner.