Claims lawyers came in for a slating at our recent Future of Personal Injury Claims conference.

AXA's David Williams led the charge by pointing out that the number of qualified solicitors in private practice had grown from 55,000 to 75,000 in the space of 15 years.

In a rather blunt comparison he added: "Rats don't breed that quickly".

Emboldened by Williams' attack, other insurers got into the act, with claims lawyers likened to piranhas.

The jibes had absolutely nothing to do with the earlier barnstorming speech by Thompson's Tom Jones. The claimant lawyer came out with a few sardonic home truths about insurers' "conversion on the road to Damascus" in relation to a disease pool.