U.K. P&I CLUB TARGETS CLAIMS, LAWYERS’ COSTS
The United Kingdom Protection and Indemnity Club, the world’s largest P&I mutual of shipowners, will introduce measures to raise efficiency in the way claims are handled over the next few months.
The club said that the measures aim to get value for money from lawyers and other consultants such as valuers and assessors.
Fees paid to external suppliers of professional and consultancy services such as lawyers and technical consultants in respect of member claims account for $63 million to $68 million a year and represent the club’s largest expense after claims settlements.
The club plans to take measures focused on commercial strategy, standards, performance assessment and budgeting. It seeks a consistent approach to early case assessment for contentious claims to ensure “a clear, agreed, achievable and commercial strategy” for each one, it said. The U.K. P&I Club will discuss such measures with its members and suppliers.
A P&I Club spokesman said that he believes that lawyers, other experts and club members and managers “all need to improve their approaches” to claims processing. The U.K. P&I club is managed by the law firm Thomas Miller, which charges shipowner members a management fee.
“Lawyers and other experts do not always make best use of technology or best practice,” he added. “They may lack understanding of members’ needs and businesses, show inadequate cost management skills, and spend too long on technical rather than commercial and practical items.”
Club members should share their principal commercial objectives and information and material concerning claims with club managers and external lawyers, the P&I club said.