’We recognised an underutilisation of our team’s expertise,’ says client lead

McLarens has launched a new dispute resolution service off the back of government efforts to make litigation “a last resort”.

That was according to David O’Neill, client lead at the insurance provider, who said that the solution came in response to growing demand for impartial advisory and expert services.

As part of its offering, McLarens provides clients with a team of expert witnesses that focus on examining and assessing claims for loss and damage before publishing a report.

And O’Neill hopes the team’s “broad range of skills” can help diminish the need for prolonged courtroom proceedings.

“Though we’ve always provided expert witness services and advice to our clients, we recognised an underutilisation of our team’s expertise,” he said.


The service came as the speed of court cases continue to slow.

According to the Ministry of Justice’s Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly: April to June 2021 findings, published in September 2021, the mean time from when a claim is made up until it is heard at court continued to increase.

The report said: “The mean time taken for small claims and multi/fast track claims to go to trial was 49.2 weeks and 71.1 weeks – 12.6 weeks longer and 12 weeks longer than the same period in 2019 respectively.”

More recently, according to the Civil Justice Statistics report, published last year (7 September 2023), the average time taken for small claims and multi/fast track claims to go to trial was 52.3 and 78.2 weeks.

This was 15.7 and 19.1 weeks longer compared to 2019.

To help improve this, last year (1 August 2023), the government announced that it is proceeding with plans to introduce compulsory mediation as a mandatory procedural step in all small claims cases in the County Court.

O’Neill said that this “reflects this shift towards ADR”.

“These efforts, supported by government intervention and legislative frameworks in the UK, aim to promote transparent and collaborative dispute resolution, making formal litigation a last resort.”

“[However], litigation remains inevitable in some cases, underscoring the continued importance of independent expert witnesses in court proceedings.”