Broker Alexander Forbes and law firm Kennedys are joining forces to launch a service to handle indemnity claims by law firms once the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) is abolished later this year.

AF Solicitors Claims Service will be aimed at all sizes of legal practice “from the sole trader to major City firms”, and will process claims for insurers including Royal & SunAlliance and Ace Global Markets.

The claims service will offer access to legal advice through either regional or national panels. These will be drawn from SIF itself along with other PI experts.

The service, which the company is making available to other brokers in the market, features an online facility to track claims. This can be accessed by clients, insurers, brokers and acting solicitors alike.

Glenda West, director of the claims service, thought solicitors would benefit from the new arrangements. “Now that we are entering a commercial market, those firms that can demonstrate the highest standards of risk management will be able to manage or reduce their PI premiums, a benefit which simply did not exist under the old SIF regime,” she said.

However she added that standards would be high. “Any insurer hoping to compete has to provide its clients with a claims service which meets and exceeds the high standards set by the SIF,” she said.