QBE cuts back UK claims panel with eight firms winning spots on new line-up

QBE has completed a review of its UK claims panel, with eight firms reappointed and a number losing spots.

The review – which is carried out every three years – was run by Alan Brownlee, the head of claims procurement for QBE’s European arm.

Firms reappointed to the panel include BLM, Clyde & Co, CMS, DAC Beachcroft, Mayer Brown and RPC.

DWF and Plexus, who were also on previous line-up, have been appointed to exclusively cover all motor and casualty business for claims less than £250,000.

Bond Dickinson and Mills & Reeve have both come off the roster, with Bond Dickinson recently confirming that it had made a number of redundancies as a result of the panel loss.

Brownlee said: “We are confident that these appointments will allow us to further develop the strategic partnerships with our panel that are critical in enabling us to deliver truly excellent service, innovation, outcomes and value to our customers in the years to come.”

The number of firms on the panel has been falling since 2011 when QBE cut it back from 24 to 18, while the 2014 review saw the roster reduced further to just 12.

Claims work, which costs QBE tens of millions of pounds a year, makes up the bulk of the insurer’s external legal budget.

The claims panel is separate to QBE’s European panel, which handles work such as regulatory matters, employment, data protection and corporate.

That panel was put in place by Esther Felton in 2014 and a review is imminent. Felton also introduced another strategic panel for certain transactions, adding Norton Rose Fulbright, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.