Some law firm’s have created their own technological interfaces to support insurers responding to claims or claimants filing one, Insurance Times investigates why 

The new Litigation in Person (LiP) portal is too complicated and many law firms are finding solutions to help claimants self-serve. 

Meanwhile insurers and other representatives supporting the response to the claim will need to adapt technologically to support this. 

Donna Scully, directors at law firm, Carpenters Group told Insurance Times: “Most tech law firms have done this, as an easier solution. The problem is that there is no cost recoverable on cases up to £5000, so clients are not going to be able to be represented. Law firms have to find a way to take care of people.

“The new LiP portal is not straightforward; I think the worry is that the average person will not be able to use it. We are worried that customers and clients are going to be left high and dry.”

Scully is concerned that without law firms providing this solution, it could also leave the situation open to claims farmers to capitalise on making money out of hire and repair.

Carpenters has also built an interface; Scully describes it like a guide to the LiP portal, but she retains that some human interaction is needed especially at the beginning of the claim.

This complicated nature was demonstrated by medical negligence and personal injury practice Fletchers Serious Injury which showed two fifths of individuals do not know how to make an injury claim. It revealed that 19% of respondents would not make a claim if they experience serious injury and a further 41% said they would not know how.

It follows the LiP portal being postponed till April 2021 due to Covid-19. 

Sensitive and discreet

But with many deeming the portal too complicated, and the ongoing delay in the roll-out, some more technologically minded law firms have created a self-service interface that claimants can access as a simpler alternative.

Slater and Gordon is just one of the law firms to do this, its interface will be put in action when Ministry of Justice (MoJ) issues its final regulations for the portal.

David Whitmore, Slater and Gordon’s chief executive told Insurance Times that the idea came about when the law firm decided that it had to leverage technology more effectively.

“We were looking at using technology and automating the process for all our legal services. An incredibly important part of that is how you interact with the customer.

”People are usually in a pretty difficult situation for things that they have never faced before, and they want to feel that things are being handled in a sensitive and discreet fashion,” he said.

The intention is for this service to be available via an app for the post-Civil Liability Act (CLA) world, so that customers can access the portal anywhere.

“In a straightforward case it might involve no unnecessary no human intervention, but wherever necessary we provide the ability to customise because some cases are different,” he added.


Speaking about the Covid-19 lockdown, Whitmore said that “in some ways it’s been a big test for us, the other thing that is important for us is for our people to be tech savvy in the way they use the equipment. Whitmore touched on Slater & Gordon’s ‘Work Anywhere’ strategy.

The law firm has been focusing on three things. Firstly, Whitmore said that Slater and Gordon have been focusing on the customer and moving away from the concept of client to customer –instead, focusing on customer experience and the output.

Secondly it looked at technology and making the legal sector more technologically enhanced.

He added that the law firm is creating a customer journey that starts with the customer accessing a portal.

“That’s the way you communicate with your legal provider – every part of that journey we are trying to enhance.

”We are using machine leaning and artificial intelligence to ensure we are filtering any enquiry that comes in.

”Our case management system will become completely automated so that we can follow it all the way through from the moment [the customer] makes a visual inquiry ultimately through portals.

“We have been trialling this, and we have now developed something for the personal injury business which is linked into the LiP and post-CLA world.

”But our intention is to use this same platform for all our services, so essentially you will have the ability to get service from Slater and Gordon using this process.”

The service is cloud based and was born off the back of its partnership with Microsoft Azure that began in 2018.

“It’s been a great partnership for us. In our business data security is [very] important because we are dealing with sensitive information.”

One claim at a time

The new LiP portal known as Official Injury Claim, is designed so that the injured claimant can progress their own claim and seek compensation with or without legal support.Anna Fleming, chief operating officer, Motor Insurers’ Bureau told Insurance Times: “We have also been developing the service so that any representative handling claims on behalf of a claimant can easily interface with it.

“Official Injury Claim is intended to be both easy to use and inclusive. To inform its development we have undertaken consumer testing with Ipsos MORI and have also demonstrated the service to the industry.

”Feedback has been positive, and we are building on the insights provided to make further refinements. We have also reviewed the accessibility of service throughout using accredited accessibility experts.

“This is why we have every confidence that the new service will deliver for claimants and their representatives when it goes live in April 2021. Of course, service improvements won’t stop here - we will continue to listen and make further enhancements to the system.”

On the defendant side, its Kennedys that has led the way with the development of its Portal Manager tool via its spin-off business, Kennedys IQ.

Kennedy’s also has a portal manager product which it launched in February, but it differs to Slater and Gordon’s as it is for insurers, third party administrators and claims handling teams to use, the global law firm focuses on the defendant’s side.

Speaking about the new LiP portal being built to handle one claim at a time, Mike Gilpin, at Kennedy’s IQ told Insurance Times: “There are significant volumes going through the portal and so it really is essential for insurers to be able to have complete visibility of their claims throughout the cycle. Our initial pilot with a major global insurer realised substantial savings in both indemnity spend and operational efficiencies.” 

Alan Collins, product manager at the law firm was previously at the MIB and had a hand at designing and building the new portal. 


At the time of the portal delay, Whitmore, said: “While further uncertainty and delay is not ideal, it’s understandable given the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. At times like this, it’s important that industry leaders, government and other key stakeholders come together to make decisions in the best interests of customers.

“When the reforms are introduced it is critical that they are implemented in a controlled and efficient fashion ensuring continued consumer support and service.

”In these extraordinary times that objective may be better achieved by delaying the introduction to a later date when the UK landscape is more certain.”

But Whitmore added that for this whole process to be implemented there must be confidence that it has been well thought through.

This means that the rules must be in place, as well as being understood by all the various players in the market.

Whitmore fears that the delay has only provided another period of uncertainty in the market that has been compounded by Covid-19.

This is because the PI market is full of relatively small sectors, “they are looking whether they are going to have a place in this new market, the more it is delayed the more it holds up their decision about how they take their businesses forward.

”As we have seen across the economy, the smaller the organisation the more they are struggling to cope. So, the delay in CLA just creates more uncertainty for lots of organisations”.

For Whitmore, the most important thing is to get this right for the customer so there is not complete confusion.

“The vast majority of people that are claiming are genuine, they have had an accident and want to get back on the road and their car fixed, and to get on with their lives,” he said.


Overall, Whitmore said that the lockdown has proven that Slater and Gordon can be run in a much more flexible fashion.

“We are a digital workforce so we can work anywhere but it was unproven, he said.

“The great thing for our people is that they can work in a more flexibly. It means that people can work more flexible hours, around child minding responsibilities [and] it means that we can work with people that might be able to work maybe four or five days a week as we are more agile. What Covid-19 has done is accelerate our journey to get there.”

Too complicated?

When asked whether these interfaces might render the LiP portal unnecessary, Scully said that it would not as these interfaces connect to the portal. Instead the interface will sit on top of the portal.

“But if you are building something for something that is supposed to be user friendly, it defeats the purpose.”

The hope is that claimants will be able to navigate the LiP portal a bit better.

Scully questioned what might happen if claimants found that law firm interfaces were still too complicated, “that could happen as well as obviously none of them are tested yet as the LiP portal is not live, we won’t know until it goes live”.

Read more…Call centres: Rising to the challenge of home working amid Covid-19

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