Norwich Union (NU) is set for a High Court battle against three people to get back more than £162,084 allegedly obtained through fraud.

The civil proceedings stem from a case involving former NU claims adviser Carol Birrell, who was convicted of fraud and jailed for five years in 2005.

Birrell had paid out false claims of £1.5bn to numerous people between 1990 and 2003.

Maureen Knutsen, Alan Anthony Rainford and Dominic Ross are accused of accepting claims pay-outs from Birrell without any entitlement to the money.

According to the High Court writ, the three deposited the cheques into their bank accounts, dishonestly helping Birrell in her breach of fiduciary duty and trust, NU is alleging.

The insurer is suing the three defendants for repayment of the money as well as assets purchased with the fraudulent funds and interest.

Knutsen is facing a claim for £72,974, while Rainford and Ross face suits of £31,396 and £58,433 respectively.

All three defendants are from Liverpool.

Four other people involved in the case have also served time in prison after they were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the insurer.

Knutsen received a total of £134,071 from NU, but credit was given for the £23,184 confiscated during related criminal proceedings.

A spokesperson for NU said: “Criminal and civil sanctions were sought at the time and any action now is the result of those proceedings.”

NU sued Birrell in 2003. She was authorised to send out cheques for insurance claims. But between 1990 and 2003, she sent out cheques to various individuals and entities that were not entitled to the money, the writ claims.