Asked from the floor about the regulation of claims farming, liability insurers and working with the FSA, Mark Boleat gave a detailed response.

“The first thing we had to establish is whether the Financial Services and Markets Act covers the activities of insurance companies or not,” he said. “This was something that occupied the minds of lawyers for some time, and they eventually concluded that it did.”

The view, in this regard, is that whatever insurers do in respect of an insurance policy, even if it is not their policyholder, is an activity covered by the Financial Services and Markets Act.

“As an insurer I would be more worried about the FSA investigating than I would the MoJ

Mark Boleat

“The issue is now very firmly on the FSA’s agenda. They have looked at it, it has gone through their process, and they have decided that there is an issue to be investigated.

“If I were a liability insurer, I would be far more worried about the FSA investigating this than I would about the claims management unit of the Ministry of Justice, based in Burton-on-Trent and with 10 staff, looking at it. So it is firmly on the agenda.

“Some people ask why we are not also dealing with solicitors, bearing in mind the amount of malpractice in this area, which has been documented by the SRA, but the SRA have that one firmly on board.”