DAS is poised to set up its own law firm in anticipation of the Legal Services Bill becoming law.

The legal expenses insurer has set up an association with a small independent law firm, enabling all IT, synergy and communication requirements to be put in place.

The identity of the law firm has not been disclosed.

Katherine Mortimer, head of legal services at DAS, told Insurance Times: "In readiness for the Legal Services Bill becoming law, enabling non-solicitors to own legal practices, we have set up contingency arrangements with a practice.

"We have all the preparation in place and have put together a corporate plan to launch [the legal practice as DAS Law] on day one of the Bill becoming law."

The Bill, which is currently in its final reading in the House of Lords, is expected to receive Royal Assent in the summer. It will then take a further 18 months to implement the new system.

However, it is anticipated that the new system, enabling non-solicitors to own their own legal practice, may take longer to set up and consequently delay anyone wishing to move ahead with such an arrangement.

Mortimer said: "With a contingency plan already in place it will enable us to work very closely with a solicitor's practice and make considerable savings for clients and insureds."

Earlier this year, solicitor Russell Jones & Walker claimed it would be the first law firm to take advantage of the legal reforms, recommended by Sir David Clementi, with a radical overhaul of its entire business structure.

The firm said it would utilise an alternative business structure in order to transform itself into a household brand for consumer legal services in time for the implementation of the Bill.

DAS is set to extend its footprint in the Northern Ireland market as it looks to double its business.

The legal expenses insurer intends to increase its book to £1m gross written premiums (GWP) within 18 months by expanding its commercial and uninsured loss recovery accounts.

The move follows the appointment of Brendan Mooney as broker account manager.

He is the first person to have sole responsibility for this region.

Mooney will also be responsible for tapping into the150-strong Northernm Ireland broker market to expand DAS's current network of 85 brokers.