Allianz challenged GSD Law Ltd after they submitted costs of £225,000 for several low-value injury claims

An Allianz appeal has led to the discovery of inflated costs being submitted by a claims company.

GSD Law Limited (GSD) submitted a number of informal claims totalling £225,000 for legal costs to Allianz following the settlement of a number of low-value injury claims.

The costs were considered excessive and challenged. The formal Bills for Costs that followed totalled just under £160,000.00 but were further later reduced to £128,000. This indicated the original informal bills were inflated by £97,000 (75%).

Allianz alleged that GSD claimed for hourly rates in excess of the retainer rate, for senior lawyers’ rates claimed for the work of junior fee-earners and for work that had simply not been done.

Two examples of claims were chosen for the purpose of litigation.

During a hearing of the trial, back in 2014, GSD’s principal solicitor Miss Kirna Madhas’ evidence was found to be “not only evasive and inconsistent but dishonest”. The district judge also said that “she was a wholly unreliable witness,” and he had “no confidence in anything she has told me.”

GSD subsequently appealed the decision of the district judge on five points of law and procedure, but their appeal was dismissed by the Circuit Judge by a judgment dated 08/07/15.

GSD thereafter pursued a second appeal, having initially been refused permission, but that was also dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 15 December 2017. The assessment proceedings in the remaining cases continue.

Allianz head of motor claims Tony Newman, said: “These types of behaviours taint the entire legal profession, and have to be rooted out and addressed by the toughest possible means. Ultimately, this is an act of greed and fraud against a motor insurance customer - it is not a victimless crime. Claimant law firms need to understand that Allianz will take them to task if they take this route.”