Autoresolutions, a provider of online alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for credit hire claims, has joined handl Group.
The online ADR provider, acquired for undisclosed consideration, joins Corporé, EQL and Speed Medical as a brand of the handl group, which also bought Tessa Gough & Associates in October.
Autoresolutions works in conjunction with the Verisk group to provide a seamless transition to dispute resolution for claims that have not settled on Verisk’s negotiation platform facilities.
Graham Pulford, chief executive officer of handl Group, described the acquisition of Autoresolutions as “great news” ahead of the launch of its own reasonably priced dispute resolution service for personal injury claims through startup Claimspace, which launches in 2021.
Pulford explained that market appetite for ADR solutions had ramped up exponentially due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on civil justice.
He cited recent figures from the Ministry of Justice for July to September 2020, which found that the gap between a small claim being issued and the case going to trial had risen to nearly 50 weeks on average, nearly 11 weeks weeks longer than the same period in 2019.
Pulford said: “ADR is a proven means of achieving a quick claims settlement in many other industries and it has obvious benefits for credit hire (and personal injury). It cannot be in anybody’s interest, including the customer, that disputed cases are taking a year to come to court, and I am confident Autoresolutions—which will be a fully independent operation—will make a major contribution to improving access to justice in the credit hire sector.”
Autoresolutions founder Stewart McCulloch will run Claimspace and Autoresolutions. They both use the same platform technology that was developed under his guidance, which was driven by two straightforward principles: “Although the technology is complex, what the customer sees is quite simple: we need to make sure the relevant documents are with the right parties at the right time, and that the arbitrator is suitable, such as a district judge or barrister.”
He added: “Autoresolutions was founded on principles of complete independence from either credit hire companies or insurers. Steven Turner and Kenneth Delaney are leading barristers from both sides of the equation and have so far brought balance to the board of the company and the formulation or our services.”
‘When handl Group made their approach with a view to providing the financial support that we needed to support our launch, it came with a guarantee of complete independence in the development and operation of our services and with the continued involvement of all three of us to maintain our independent approach.”