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QBE to review UK claims panel as new general counsel takes charge

Australia’s largest global insurer QBE is to launch a review of its UK claims panel, following the appointment of a new group general counsel (GC) earlier this year.

One partner, whose firm is tendering for the panel, told Legal Business that while the terms of engagement were not yet clear, the review was ‘imminent’. QBE refused to comment on the process.

The UK panel, which was last reviewed in 2014, is responsible for carrying out a large amount of disputes work for the insurer. The last UK review was carried out by then European claims director Dominic Clayden, now group chief claims officer, with firms including Berrymans Lace Mawer, Mayer Brown, Plexus Law and RPC making the list.

Prior to that, the insurer carried out an overhaul in 2011, where it cut the number of firms from 24 to 18 with CMS Cameron McKenna, DWF and Mayer Brown all handed a spot. Ten firms were appointed to a core panel for England and Wales, three firms were appointed for Scotland and Ireland and a further five firms selected for specialist advice.

QBE also appointed Carolyn Scobie as group GC and company secretary in January, following the resignation of Peter Horton.

Scobie, who took up the role on 18 January, joined the insurer from property firm Goodman Group where she was group GC with responsibility for a legal team working on matters across 16 countries.

In other panel news, Unilever is currently reviewing its roster, while HP Inc launched its first panel review following its split from Hewlett Packard and Merlin Entertainments began considering firms for its first formal panel in August this year.