Specialist insurance litigation firm and alternative business structure (ABS), Horwich Farrelly, has boosted its bid to diversify into new markets by appointing to its board the chairman of the UK business of an insurance company with a global turnover of almost £2bn.
The Manchester-headquartered firm, which was granted its ABS licence in January, has brought in Allianz Global Assistance UK (AGA UK) chairman, Mike Webb, with a brief to “help shape partnerships in the insurance industry alongside priming the business for diversification into other insurance services”.
The law firm’s main focus is on defending personal injury claims on behalf of insurance companies but it also has a claimant arm. It provides an outsourced claims handling facility for work providers. The firm’s clients include Admiral Group, Aviva, and Brit Insurance.
AGA UK is part of the global financial services giant Allianz Group. It provides assistance, travel insurance and health, life and home care services. Last year the company’s global annual turnover exceeded €2.2 billion (£1.9bn).
Mr Webb is a director of ECInsurance, a subsidiary of the Electrical Contractors Association, the leading provider of insurance products and services to electrical and building contractors and affinity groups. He also sits on the board of Nextcare, the largest health insurance management company in the Middle East.
Before becoming chairman of AGA UK he was chief executive of the company’s predecessor, Modial Assistance UK, for 20 years. Mondial re-branded to AGA UK last October.
Anthony Hughes, Horwich’s chief executive, said: “The legal industry is entering uncharted territory which for some represents a serious challenge in how firms do business. For us it offers huge opportunities and… [Mr Webb] can help us drive the firm forward and exploit new opportunities.”
Mr Webb said: “Working with a driven management team at Horwich Farrelly gives me great confidence in the direction the firm is heading.”
The 18-partner firm has an annual turnover of £22.5m and employs more than 400 people across bases in the City of London, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.