asb law forms a separate business unit to focus on personal injury and uninsured loss recovery...

asb law has formed a seperate business unit, asb aspire.

Based in asb law’s new Maidstone offices, asb aspire operates throughout England and Wales and will focus on volume, process-driven legal work, specifically personal injury (PI) and uninsured loss recovery (ULR).

While this type of work is ultimately on behalf of a private individual, it is usually sourced via ‘volume referrers’ – insurers and brokers, claims management companies, estate agents and intermediaries.

asb aspire will begin trading on 1 June with 38 staff. A number of employees will be transferring from asb law, but the new business also involves a merger with the Maidstone-based Andrew Gardner Partnership (AGP), a law firm specialising in ULR and PI claims.

The majority of AGP’s business will be transferring to asb aspire. Gardner himself will be joining asb law’s Property Services Group in the Maidstone office.

With plans to grow the business through existing and new sources, asb aspire expects to increase to approximately 70 staff by the end of 2007.

Sally Dunscombe, asb aspire’s managing director, explained the rationale behind the new venture: “This is a natural way forward for asb law. Services such as PI and loss recovery require supervision by lawyers and legal opinion at certain stages, but the underlying process is essentially administrative.

“If you have highly trained individuals managed by senior lawyers and the correct systems in place which define specific actions, much of the work doesn’t need to be handled by qualified lawyers.

There are, of course, exceptions: asb aspire will continue the development work of asb law in the area of brain injury claims. This is a very specialist area of law and will be handled exclusively by senior lawyers with individually devised case plans for each client. We’re using ‘Proclaim’, the market leading system in the PI claimant market, and we’re currently recruiting legal team leaders, paralegals, conveyancing assistants and clerical staff.

Andrew Clinton, asb law’s Managing Partner, added: “In many ways, the development of asb aspire is a practical response to the findings of the 2004 Clementi review of the legal services market and the Government’s subsequent Legal Services Bill which is likely to come into force in three years’ time. The legal landscape is about to change and firms are facing new challenges and opportunities. The Bill will give existing firms greater freedom to innovate but it will also allow new providers to enter the market.

“Because asb aspire is operating in a flexible, automated environment it will be able to react very quickly to changes in market conditions and client demand. The key is to ensure that efficiency and service quality are maintained at the highest level. That’s why aspire’s senior management is drawn from the Partners of asb law: they will provide an appropriate interface between the two firms.”