Phil Rawlings, technical manager of motor claims for AXA, found himself surrounded by claimant lawyers without much insurer backup at the Motor Accident Solicitors Society’s annual conference last week.

During a coffee break, Rawlings trawled the exhibitor stands and collected an armful of goodies, joking that he might as well enjoy himself given that – as an insurance company employee – he was one of the least popular people in the room.

He also took comfort in the fact that Dominic Clayden, director of claims for Norwich Union, was reportedly somewhere in the crowd too.