Axa Insurance has slashed the number of firms on its general insurance solicitors' panel to 14.

The insurer had been dealing with more than 30 firms following its integration with Guardian Royal Exchange.

Axa said key criteria in the selection process included technical capability, service and geographical coverage.

The chosen firms are: Badhams in Croydon, Beachcroft Wansbroughs in Birmingham, Berrymans Lace Mawer in Manchester, Cartwrights in Bristol, Jacksons in Stockton-on-Tees, James Chapman and Co in Manchester, Kennedys in London, Keoghs in Bolton and Coventry, Morgan Cole in Cardiff, Croydon and Reading, Palser Grossman in Cardiff, Rowe & Maw in London, The Anderson Partnership in Glasgow and HBM Sayers in Glasgow.

Axa Insurance's UK claims manager, David Harris, claimed cost cutting was not behind the review.

“If we are to address the long-term issues affecting the insurance sector, we need to have the right people on board – people with the skills and motivation to work with us,” he said.

Axa declined to say which firms were slashed from its list. It said being axed from the panel was not a reflection on the firms concerned.