Under the regulation 6 of The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 (seehttp://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1990/1159/regulation/6/made) a person with a legal expenses insurance should, in theory, be able to instruct the lawyer of their choice. But insurers commonly try to restrict the lawyer that can be used, referring their policyholder to a panel firm of solicitors, usually miles away from the policyholder. An insurer should, however, allow their policyholder to use their solicitor of choice once court or tribunal proceedings are issued. In an employment law context the issuing of proceedings is complicated by ACAS Early Conciliation.
If you want to use your preferred solicitor and the insurer won’t let you, then you should allow the panel firm of solicitors to issue the claim for you and then switch solicitors. At Truth Legal, we specialise in clients who want to switch solicitors see Switch solicitor.
Understandably, an insurer will only support a claim which has merit, but who determines whether the case has merit is a bone of contention. An experienced insurer might be able to accurately determine whether a case has merit, but, in our experience, it is preferable if an employment law solicitor considers the prospects of success, so that the job is done properly.
At Truth Legal, we have a great deal of experience of operating under legal expenses insurance. When our client has the benefit of legal expenses insurance, and we are working under that legal expenses insurance policy, we essentially have two clients: our client and the insurer.
The legal expenses insurance agreement is horribly detailed: all expenses have to be approved by the insurer and, if the prospects of success drop, the insurer must be immediately informed and they are likely to remove cover. The insurer will need to be continuously updated as to developments in the case.
If you want to speak with one of workplace solicitors regarding how you can best maximise your chances of securing legal expenses insurance funding, please contact us for a no-obligation, free discussion.