Kerry Underwood

DAS LAW AT IT

with 14 comments


A young man suffered significant injuries in a motorcycle accident which was reported to everyone as required by law, including his own insurers. He made no request for representation and indeed instructed other solicitors who have sent the information to me.

 

DAS LAW wrote to him telling him that they will be dealing with the matter on his behalf and sent him a full questionnaire (not shown here as it has personal details on it).

 

Apart from being an unsolicited approach, there was no advice about alternative funding.

 

The questionnaire quoted the client’s full personal details and clearly someone has acted in breach of the Data Protection Act.

 

The letter appears below.

 

DAS Law Letter

Please see my related blogs: –

TESCO AT IT: DOES IT GET ANY WORSE THAN THIS?

INSURERS AT IT AGAIN (1) AND (2)

CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE – DEFENDANTS AT IT AGAIN (3)

INSURERS AT IT AGAIN? (4)

INSURERS AT IT AGAIN (5)

EVER SEEN WORSE TH>N MORE TH>N? – INSURERS AT IT AGAIN (6)

DIRECT LINE OR DIRECT LYING? – INSURERS AT IT AGAIN (7)

INSURERS AT IT AGAIN (LOST COUNT)

MEDICAL DEFENSE UNION: A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS IN PERSONAL INJURY

DLG LEGAL SERVICES & SOLICITORS CODE OF CONDUCT

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Written by kerryunderwood

July 18, 2016 at 10:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses

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  1. I can only hope that the client has been advised to commence a formal complaint against DAS Law and that the SRA have been tipped off about this

    Geoff Jeffington

    July 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

    • See comment from Hxyay – the solicitor dealing with the matter and who kindly provided me with the information.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      July 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

  2. I do hope this is being referred to the SRA, by whom “DAS Law” are supposedly regulated (although as they are an ABS, the word “regulated” is to be applied loosely – as in “not regulated at all”).

    Dominic Cooper

    July 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

    • See comment from Hxyay – the solicitor dealing with the matter and who kindly provided me with the information. The non-regulation of ABS’s by the SRA is a disgrace – of course the official response is to officially remove many of the professional standards requirements from ABS’s so the regulation that is not taking place will not even technically be required. On our way to very serious civil and social problems in this country.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      July 18, 2016 at 11:28 am

  3. I agree with Dominic and perhaps his insurers should be reported to the ICO. I particularly like the phrase, ‘this is not a concern’. Are DAS tacitly accepting that their BTE policy is not worth having ?

    dominicmoss

    July 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

    • Please see comment of Hxyay, the solicitor dealing with this matter and who kindly provided me with the information.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      July 18, 2016 at 11:32 am

  4. I am waiting to hear back from them before taking next steps. I hope there is an innocent explanation but suspect it is simply his insurer passing on details to a panel solicitor. For me it is the ‘I will be dealing with your claim…’ bit that grates, presenting representation as a fait accompli.

    H

    Hxyay

    July 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

    • Thank you very much. Please keep us all advised as to the outcome. Hope all solicitors and members of the public start reporting these matters to the SRA and also to Ministry of Justice and your Member of Parliament. There are important Parliamentary votes coming up on personal injury field – it is important that MPs know the truth about some insurance companies and their practices.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      July 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

  5. I can tell you from experience that instructions by the solicitor in these cases are sent from the insurer with a confirmation that they have the client’s authorisation to instruct. That is likely to explain the initial comment about handling the matter.

    I can also tell you that this isn’t simply being passed along from one department to another in the same building. There’s more than one panel firm dealing with matters, so it’s not going to be an automatic internal referral on the basis there’s been contact.

    DAS don’t generally sell stand alone LEI policies, so although I don’t know the personal circumstances of this client, the odds are there’s been a call to the primary insurer’s claim line first before a referral for an LEI claim is made. Whether this was done correctly is obviously a different matter, but it’s not necessarily the law firm that’s acted improperly here.

    BRJQ

    July 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    • Further investigations show that the insurer here is AXA through MotorCycle Direct, itself part of Europa Group Ltd, a Bristol based company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

      I can also tell you that the letter from DAS LAW to their non-client said:-

      “I have been told that you do not have pre-existing legal expenses insurance…”

      which information could only have come from the broker or the insurer as the client had made no contact with them.

      It is not sufficient for a solicitor to rely on a third party to advise them that a lay client has instructed them.

      The contact must be direct with that client, for fairly obvious reasons which this case exposes.

      You state that DAS do not generally sell standalone legal expenses insurance policies. That is simply factually wrong and indeed DAS and DAS LAW recognize that.

      If you go to the website of DAS LAW Ltd that company itself says:-

      “We are part of the DAS UK Group which includes DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company. If you’re a DAS policyholder and find yourself in a legal situation, we can help…”

      “The majority of our current clients have a DAS legal expenses insurance policy which covers their legal fees.”

      So by their own statement DAS LAW Ltd are saying that literally the majority of their clients have DAS legal expenses insurance, which does rather suggest that generally it is indeed simply a case of a matter being passed along from one department to another, although not necessarily in the same building.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      July 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      • I know from having worked at the law firm, until recently, that the “DAS Legal Expenses Insurance” policy is an add on under house or car insurance in somewhere between 90 and 99% of the cases. So it’s not factually wrong to say that they don’t generally have stand alone policies. The overwhelming majority of them are add ons via other insurers. If as you say this is an AXA policy, then you’ve just proven my point.

        The first call is, again 99% of the time, to the principal insurer. They arrange for a call back from the law firm who give general advice about the position under the LEI terms. Usually general advice is covered over the phone, even if the claim itself might not be. If it’s something that might be covered by the policy, or that a CFA might cover, the matter is set up at that point. This is only done if the client requests it though. So again I’m right to say that it’s not simply being passed from department to department.

        I don’t know why there’s been an issue in this case, and nor do you (at least publicly), and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of some confusion on the part of the client (although equally he might be right). For the same reason, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that there has been some wrong doing from DAS Law. Your extrapolation from one problem to a rotten borough isn’t particularly fair though.

        BRJQ

        July 19, 2016 at 7:59 pm

  6. DAS do have standalone legal insurance policies but these are for ATE and so not really relevant. As an aside I have always felt that the ATE side of things is run very well and I have no hesitation recommending their product.

    The issue here is that instructions are that no such request was made for a call back yet a declarative letter containing personal information and saying they will act was received from a firm of solicitors with no known connection to anyone involved with the insurance side of things.

    There may be, as BRJQ suggests, some confusion on the part of the client or his mother as after all after a traumatic incident it is easy to forget a passing comment. I do wonder however why there is reluctance to confirm by whom and why the details were passed over.

    No LEI/BTE was in place so there would be no automatic passing over of information, it must have been conscious and in the face of a clear instruction that contact was not requested, something smells.

    I hope there is an excellent explanation and that all is well, but suspect I will never get to the bottom of the situation.

    H

    Hxyay

    July 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm

  7. BRJQ

    Please see comment of Hxyay – the solicitor involved in this case.

    Kerry

    kerryunderwood

    July 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm


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