The future of Markel International's professional indemnity division has been thrown into doubt, after its lead underwriter Terry Mason defected to Professional Risk Indemnity (PRI) Group.

He has b ...

The future of Markel International's professional indemnity division has been thrown into doubt, after its lead underwriter Terry Mason defected to Professional Risks Insurance (PRI) Group.

He has been poached by his old Markel colleague Andreas Louciades, who is chief executive of the new £140m liability insurer.

Mason, who headed the professional liability division with Markel's Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd's, will join the company's legal expenses team at the beginning of September.

Rumours that Markel will cease writing any new legal expenses business from 1 October were denied by the company.

A Markel spokeswoman said: "I have not heard anything about that. Mason has only just told us he is leaving, so things have yet to be decided on the future."

As yet no decision had been made on who would replace him, she added.

PRI has also announced that Richard Candy of Abbey Legal Protection will join the legal expenses team with ex-colleague Leo Gibbons. Both Gibbons and Candy were responsible for business development and underwriting respectively.

The new team will write a full range of pre- and post-legal expenses cover for both commercial and personal clients.

PRI chief underwriting officer Peter Matson said: "Legal expenses is a core class for PRI. We believe we now have the strongest underwriting and development team in the London Market."

A shake-up in the legal expenses market is taking place. German legal expenses specialist insurer ARAG has poached Paul Hurley of LawClub, who headed its legal expenses team, to start a new venture in Manchester under the banner of ARAG UK.