Stobart lorry group to drive new insurance brokerage
Friday 3rd August 2012
Logistics firm the Stobart Group, best known for its lorries, is set to launch an insurance broking arm after receiving FSA approval.
The venture comes after the May launch of Stobart’s legal services venture, Stobart Barristers, which puts members of the public directly in touch with barristers without having to go through a solicitor.
The insurance broking arm is likely to work on the same model as Stobart Barristers where the firm acts as a broker, linking to barristers across the UK who charge fixed fees which are declared at the start.
The division, based in Manchester, is led by managing director Trevor Howarth, who joined Stobart as legal director in 2008.
He said the model has proved popular with both clients and barristers, with 1,200 signed up – about 70% of the profession – and revenue four times ahead of expectation.
Howarth said: “With a genuine fixed fee, the risk transfers from the client to the barrister, and it gives clear transparency at the outset as to what the cost of a case is going to be.
“You know it is not going to escalate, even if a case is adjourned a number of times.
“With a diminishing amount of work coming from Legal Aid, there is a large appetite from the Bar to deliver the work.
“We thought it would take a lot longer for the concept to catch on.”
The venture was inspired by the savings generated after Stobart’s legal team began instructing barristers directly in 2008.
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