Our 1,000 strong, specialist insurance team includes a nationally renowned Catastrophic and Large Injury Team. Within this we have over 50 partners, supported by an additional 50 plus associates/solicitors and paralegals. This gives a total of over 165 legal advisors providing a huge resource for insurers in the most complex injury claims. We are currently managing claims on behalf of insurers with reserves of in excess of £750 million.
We offer a bespoke service to our clients and work in partnership with them to deliver the claims handling service that they require. We recognise the importance to our clients of their customers and customer focus is paramount to our approach.
Early catastrophic insurance claims resolution is generally of fundamental importance. Earlier settlement can have a significant impact on overall indemnity spend and our approach is driven by this objective.
Our work is structured along business lines, rather than geography. To supplement our nationwide coverage we also offer significant expert international capabilities, experience and reach via our International Claims team. This means our national team works closely and collaboratively, with all clients, developing and delivering innovation and best practice.
We’re committed to continually improving our product and the value that we add to our clients. Examples of our innovative approach include our team of Medical and Rehabilitation managers, iForensic (which is our forensic accountancy service) and our in-house collision investigation expert.
We have also developed products such as a PPO Toolkit and Sonar, the latter being a tool that can be used for claimant profiling.
Upper and lower limb loss rehabilitation and claims handling expertise.
We offer some of the most innovative, responsive and knowledgeable legal expertise available in relation to amputee claims
With expertise across the DWF offices our catastrophic injury experts work together to progress rehabilitation, reduce costs and reach a swift, decisive conclusion on each claim.
We work collaboratively with you, and other members of the firm, to offer a complete service, including initial investigations, accident reconstruction, medical relationship management, forensic accountancy, international clients and PPO management.
What sets us apart is our established reputation for innovative and proactive case handling, collaborating with our in-house non legal service providers where appropriate so as to understand the unique factors impacting on each claim, as well as considering strategically relevant options across the lifespan of each claim.
Expertise across the locations
Our long-standing reputation, acting for a wide range of insurers, including some of the largest in the industry means, we build strong relationships with clients, across the team.
Our geographical spread of offices and expertise together with use of technology enables us to offer the depth of knowledge and quality of service across the globe that you require.
Reviews of the claims handling practices of insurance client's teams.
Our international reputation as one of the leading insurance law teams helps us to identify the areas where you are not compliant with internal procedures, and to suggest the best opportunities for adopting performance enhancing practices.
We’re known for our distinctively practical and robust approach. We take an independent view of your team’s performance. We understand that controlling the cost of claims settlements is vital you.
What sets us apart is our commitment to seeking out ways in which you can change practice to reduce the costs that might be claimed by claimant lawyers, and ensure that damages spend is contained. Most importantly, we work hard to ensure that claims are dealt with in a manner that not only aids overall claims spend but meets Insurance Industry and Legal Services Standards.
A complete service
We understand that the best value comes from our working collaboratively, drawing together experts for each unique matter. We have auditors with experience of working within the Insurance industry, and who understand the issues it faces, as well as wider expertise across all areas of insurance law and forensic accountancy.
Expert understanding of tech and client-based medical developments and their impact for insurers.
As part of one of the UK’s largest and most highly respected insurance practices we understand that insurer clients may have concerns over a lack of visibility of future medical developments (both tech-based and clinical) and how those developments might then impact on indemnity spend.
Our Bodily Injury Research Garage uses combined knowledge of the healthcare, insurance and legal worlds to gain insight into emerging issues, treatments and technologies, so that we can help you drive improved, future large loss management performance, manage indemnity spend and plan for any increasing costs.
We attend conferences and review the latest research publications in an effort to identify elements which are both emerging and relevant. We then bring them to your attention either through personal consulting, our social media channels or through the regular articles which we author.
A truly market-leading service
We have made horizon scanning a key feature of our annual Cat PI conferences for a number of years and no other law firm has a partner who is a member of one of the world's foremost rehabilitation organisations - the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Our Catastrophic Injury team bring a wealth of experience and expertise, specialising in all aspects of serious personal injury claims. We are therefore able to offer a comprehensive training programme that will meet your needs. Please see below a few examples of the type of training we can provide.
The sports sector is a unique marketplace. In this highly pressurised and fast-paced environment, responding to catastrophic injury can not only impact on the injured party but on public, commercial and regulatory interests.
How we can help
Our 50-strong team of sports specialists has a proven track-record for advising on both domestic and international sports-related injury claims.
Whether acting for governing bodies, sports organisations, clubs or teams, players, participants, volunteers spectators, visitors or employees, or whether we’re working with commercial partners, investors, financial services and insurers, we’ve provided catastrophic injury claims and legal support across sports including professional rugby (national and elite), professional and semi-professional football, boxing, gymnastics, parkour, wake boarding, ultimate frisbee, cycling, motorsports and motorsport product liability, for well over a decade.
We help insurers to significantly reduce the cost of chronic pain claims by identifying these cases early and handling claims in our specialist large loss team.
It is important to identify chronic pain claims early on so that the case can be passed on to experienced handlers to devise an appropriate defence strategy. Claimant solicitors produce highly inflated schedules of loss which can be dramatically disproportionate to the real value of the claim. These cases can also involve excessive legal costs. Too many medico-legal experts are prepared to identify claimants as having enduring disability and as permanently unemployable.
DWF has a dedicated and highly experienced chronic pain team of lawyers with an excellent proven track record in assisting clients in this complex area of large loss claims. We liaise with the insurer to devise a bespoke case strategy at the earliest possible stage and we have built up an excellent network of reliable experts and Counsel. Some of our clients have benefited from:
Providing insight into the behaviours of opponents, levels of damages and case lifecycles, our augmented intelligence data analytics enhance knowledge and help insurers to make better decisions, quicker.
Acting for some of the largest insurers in the UK, we have built, and maintain, one of the most exhaustive personal injury claims data sets available.
From diagnosis of issues through to development and deployment of data-led solutions and measuring the effectiveness of this work, we work hard to present an end-to-end solution that quantifies savings and improves decision-making,
What sets us apart is the deep and broad expertise we offer to our insurer clients. Combining data analytics and legal understanding, we are known for delivering innovative solutions in relation to everything from medical expert and case data, through to measuring fraud to identify areas of suspect behaviour, inflation and how many of your competitors are experiencing the same things.
Our Data Analytics services are supported by DWF Connected Services, as well as our many award-winning risk and claims related software systems. For more information click here.
Insurance expertise you can trust
We’re known for our position at the forefront of the insurance sector. A numbers of our experts hold positions on industry organisations such as the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, the Association of British Insurers and the Motor Insurers Bureau. Members of our team are also involved with MedCo, the Insurance Fraud Investigators Group and the GTA, as well as the firm itself being an associate member of the Insurance Fraud Bureau.
We understand that getting the best outcome from a fatal injury claim requires a balance between understanding the issues arising as well as a commitment to keeping an eye on the costs.
Our specialist team is renowned for its analytical, investigative and thorough approach to advising across all types of fatal injury claims.
Our innovative, proactive approach, coupled with award-winning Connected Services (in particular our forensic accountancy team) , delivers the very best results. Whether assessing the various heads of loss or the factors affecting liability or causation, identifying potentially high-value cases as quickly as possible, assisting with inquests and regulatory matters, or liaising with institutions such as the police and the HSE, experts and counsel, we work hard to protect our insurer clients’ interests and to reduce the ultimate cost of fatal claims.
The very best at advising and managing fatal claims for insurers.
Whether assessing whether the dependent is entitled to claim, when a head of loss is valid, the level of bereavement or ‘lost years’ award, or the subtle issues raised by cohabitation, different types of dependent or preceding accidents, we’re recognised as being some of the very best at advising and managing fatal claims for insurers.
The way in which we investigate how accidents happen is changing from traditional witness evidence and examination to a data-led process.
Our Forensic Accident Reconstruction expert has over 25 years' experience of accident reconstruction, analysis and investigation, as well as acting as expert witness.
From liaising with police and interviewing investigators, scene photography and video recording; processing police plans, and video analysis and speed calculations, through to Tachograph analysis (digital and analogue), airbag event data reading and analysis, and vehicle examination and damage analysis our in-house expertise combined with access to the hard and software solutions means that we can meet your needs precisely.
Unique in-house expertise
As the only firm to offer these services in-house, we are able to respond more quickly, manage costs more effectively and tailor our approach, in a way that those outsourcing cannot.
DWF Forensic provides immediate, cost effective access to a high level of accounting expertise for personal injury and fatal accident claims.
We’re recognised as one of the few firms to offer in-house forensic accountancy expertise, alongside our award-winning insurance practice.
DWF Forensic works alongside the legal team throughout the lifespan of a case providing advice on the earnings and pension elements. We can assist in developing the strategy for the case and are a cost effective alternative to instructing an external forensic accountant.
Acting for some of the largest insurers in the UK, we can advise on UK matters or those requiring our international tax and accountancy specialism. We also have considerable experience of reviewing the financial elements of periodical payment orders and annual payments.
Combining accountancy expertise with insurance
Our team have all previously worked as external forensic accounting experts and provide a high level of technical expertise. Unlike some of the smaller forensic accountancy firm we are able to combine this expertise with an internationally leading reputation for personal injury and other insurance-related expertise.
We offer peace of mind, grounded in more than 35 years of experience of advising UK-based and international insurers, as well as multi-jurisdictional organisations and the travel industry.
We understand that mounting costs, fraudulent claims and increased liability in international claims and travel matters require a deep understanding and industry experience.
Recognised by the industry as one of the leading international claims and travel teams, our multilingual International Claims & Travel specialists are trusted to deliver expertise across a wide range of international and cross-border claims.
From the largest catastrophic injury claims through to the smallest cross-border dispute, our approach is distinctively practical. Our work includes advising on claims relating to catastrophic injury, motor, employers', public, product and holiday/travel matters, as well as on the many changing areas of UK law which have increased the exposure levels for overseas businesses operating in the UK, and for UK companies with employees based overseas.
Our International Claims and Travel Group expertise includes:
We examine allegations of alterations in brain function resulting from external force and other sources (such as hypoxic brain injury).
Our goal is to uncover cases where a Claimant's symptoms have been mistaken for structural brain damage and identify the correct source of the Claimant's symptoms in order to ensure the accurate categorisation of these claims as early as possible. Our experience and focused approach allows us to swiftly adopt an effective strategy to prevent these claims spiralling out of control.
These claims often involve unusual accident scenarios and large volumes of disclosure, it is also not uncommon for these claims to feature Claimants with complex and striking medical histories. Due to the sometimes subjective nature of the Claimant's reported symptoms our specialist mTBI and closed brain injury lawyers use every available tool to build a case specific Claimant profile and fact check each case. Our lawyers are assisted by a team with diverse expertise ranging from a background in care, engineering, medicine, data analytics and counter fraud.
We understand it is crucial to accurately and contextually assess the Claimant's cognitive abilities in order to cut through, sometimes sensationalist and convoluted, particulars of claim and schedules of loss. We adopt an interdisciplinary approach to defeat and/or substantially reduce these claims by creating focused and case specific teams of both medico-legal and non-medical experts in order to ensure:
1. The court is presented with an accurate diagnosis of the Claimant's alleged symptoms backed up by relevant and reliable literature.
2. The Claimant's potential for recovery and long term ability to function as a member of society is correctly presented to the court in context.
Our mTBI services include advising on:
We are committed to working hand-in-hand with our clients, providing in-house training, preparing claims handling protocols and data analytics to ensure insurance claims handlers have access to the latest information to help develop their knowledge of this area. We have also worked with insurer clients to develop specialist panels of experts, able to provide compelling rebuttals supported by cutting edge research in this field.
Removing the burden and headache of PP payment administration by putting it all in one place and managed by experts.
We understand that any regular financial and administrative process brings with it a workload that gets in the way of ‘the day job’, as well as a risk of fines for late payment and miscalculations. Our fixed-fee Periodical Payment administration service takes that headache, and expense, away.
Our fixed-fee, monthly PP administration service is designed to help manage and administrate the annual periodical payments that all insurers are required to make.
You can put all of your PP payment administration in one place, trusting that calculations will be made by a qualified accountant and the process managed, on time, by a specialist claims lawyer, with many years’ experience of handling this type of work.
Most importantly, this service is delivered for a monthly, fixed-fee meaning that you can rely on an expert service, at a known cost.
Our PP administrative service follows five distinct steps:
- Chase up and check the proof of life evidence
- Effect the recalculation
- Check the account details haven't changed
- Agree the recalculation with client and claimant
- Manage the payment process
We understand that the rehabilitation market is becoming increasingly dominated by a limited number of well-funded companies - impacting on choice and enhancing the risk of conflict.
How we can help
Our rehabilitation specialists work collaboratively with insurers, lawyers, claimants and their families, to promote good practice in rehabilitation and disability management, to achieve the best possible recovery and to ensure a positive return on investment for all parties.
Operating through our internal team of Medical Relationship Managers we offer a full service to ensure that sensible, affordable and locally sourced treatment and care options are available and provided. Our Medical Rehabilitation Managers are all healthcare professionals and Case Managers with a wealth of experience of managing rehabilitation and critical health issues. This service is unique to DWF.
In a clinical negligence claim where liability had been concluded and quantum was yet to be determined, the court made an order for an interim payment on account of the costs of dealing with quantum. Steven Dawson and William MacKenzie consider the implications of this judgment and the likely impact moving forward.
The Lord Chancellor has this morning announced the outcome of the first discount rate review under the new methodology provided for in the Civil Liability Act 2018.
DWF has obtained a significant reduction in a substantial claim for damages, raising arguments of fundamental dishonesty. Whilst the claimant had genuinely suffered a serious hip fracture, the defendant argued that the entire claim for loss of earnings, pleaded in excess of £6m, was tainted by, amongst other things, an undisclosed regulatory suspension on the claimant's part.
DWF Scotland's Head of General Insurance Andrew Lothian has been appointed as the Scottish Regional Representative of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL). He succeeds Elena Fry, Partner at Brodies LLP, as the FOIL Scottish representative to the executive.
by Andrew Lothian
Following the important decision of Coulson J at first instance in Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd in February of this year (which we considered in an earlier article), the eagerly awaited Court of Appeal decision following S&T (UK) Ltd's appeal has now been handed down.