Choose your partners carefully – collaboration is the key in the PI world

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9 April 2015

Posted by Phil Ruse, head of legal protection sales and distribution at Legal Futures Associate Allianz Legal Protection

Ruse: it is a winning case that funds our respective businesses

Ruse: it is a winning case that funds our respective businesses

All of those involved in claimant personal injury work knew the post-LASPO environment would be challenging. Less revenue would undoubtedly mean the need for greater efficiency for those staying in the market. In fact, perhaps the most obvious question was whether to go or stay.

So for those that have stayed (and for those still unsure), what does greater efficiency mean? The answer is far from obvious.

To stay means that a firm needs to embark on a more thorough journey of change, the extent of which depends on the start point. Clearly a firm needs a greater range of capabilities: a multi-skilled management team; optimised scale, either sufficient size or specialised niche; a clear strategy; a skilled, engaged and motivated workforce; leadership, governance and regulatory compliance; a customer proposition; and viable and cost-effective routes to market

No great surprises there, but what of that path to greater efficiency and effectiveness? Here a firm needs additional, sometimes new, capabilities:

  • Operational information: process understanding, workflow, available resources, etc;
  • Timely financial information;
  • Risk management: managing the cumulative risks now inherent in running a successful claimant law firm, from WIP lock-up spending and budgetary control, to case profiling and fee-earner management;
  • Improved data quality and management information; and
  • Better analytical skills

All of this needs to be designed to leverage greater insight, knowledge and understanding of how the business is performing.

This is the world I inhabit – the world of insurance and first-class underwriting. I would suggest the appointment of your after-the-event insurer can be a significant expert and enabler.

Our world is all about data capture and interrogation, profiling and financial modelling, and triangulations to understand developments and model the future.

We use these skills to deliver management information in average case lifecycle management, average success rates, average settlement value, or indeed the average of every matter to hand.

Therefore, I would add collaboration as another key skill.

You might be wondering why we analyse performance in this way? Ultimately it is a winning case that funds our respective businesses. A win is a win, but a loss isn’t just the loss of an issued case – any case opened and then closed without generating revenue is a loss for a law firm. For an ATE insurer, where only the winners pay the premium, we only earn revenue on winners.

Clearly there is an alignment of interest, and our skills compliment what a progressive law firm is looking to achieve. Together we have the skills to be successful in a post LASPO environment.

Our pre-LASPO partners who appreciated the additional skills we bring to the relationship were able to prepare better for a post LASPO world; and our post-LASPO partners are now realising the benefit of working with an insurer who can add operational, financial insight and aligned risk management with meeting their claims payment obligations.

Collaboration with partners who have complementary skills is a key to success in our increasingly complex and demanding market. At the end of the day collaboration with us is like putting quality oil in your engine rather than breaking down in the course of the journey.

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