Clyde & Co launches online arbitration pilot for personal injury claims

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Law firm Clyde & Co is piloting the use of online arbitration system PIcArbs to overcome the cost and slow pace of litigating personal injury claims through English and Welsh civil courts.

The two-year pilot, which began in December, will be used to arbitrate large loss personal injury claims from a UK composite insurer and 12 claimant firms.

PIcArbs is an online system that facilitates binding arbitration using a panel of barristers to act as arbitrators.

Litigating personal injury claims through the UK’s civil courts has become so expensive and slow that “the insurance industry urgently needs an alternative means of resolving disputes,” according to Clyde & Co partner Peter Walmsley.

“PIcArbs offers a practical and cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation combined with quality legal expertise. Our aim is to keep cases out of court and avoid litigation where possible.”

“[The online arbitration system] is very flexible and encourages transparency, that is unpinned by firm protocols and agreements. We hope this pilot will demonstrate the necessary proof of concept to both the insurer and claimant markets.”

Walmsley (pictured) added: “We’re keen to hear from other insurers and claimant firms who would like to trial PIcArbs, even on a single case.”

Andrew Ritchie QC, founder of PIcArbs, said of the online arbitration system: “We are all aiming for a more cooperative process, reducing costs and providing damages to injured members of the public faster and with less stress.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk