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QBE hires claimant lawyer scourge Clayden


Clayden: strong track record

Arguably the most controversial figure in the defendant insurance world – Dominic Clayden – has left Aviva after 14 years to join QBE.

Subject to what the company called “necessary approvals”, Mr Clayden will be responsible for leading the claims teams across all business lines for QBE European operations.

The solicitor’s most recent role as Aviva was claims director for the general insurance business in the UK and Ireland. His work put him at the forefront of the costs war during the last decade, where his outspoken attacks on claimant lawyers made him a divisive figure.

In 2010 he resigned as the insurance representative of the Advisory Committee on Civil Costs ahead of a report that found no reason to reduce the level of the guideline hourly rates so as to strip out the cost of referral fees.

In February this year he called for a legal obligation [2] on personal injury claimants to contact the ‘at fault’ insurer directly rather than going through solicitors and claims management companies, while in June he told MPs [3] on the transport select committee that claimant lawyers were peddling a myth that insurers under-settle claims when no lawyer is involved.

Richard Pryce, deputy chief executive officer at QBE, said: “Dominic has a strong track record of delivering client-focused solutions that support business strategies and will play an integral part in developing our claims proposition as we continue to grow our business.”

Mr Clayden, who is 47, handled both claimant and defendant work while in private practice at the start of his legal career – and was even a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers – before going in-house at CIS and then London & Edinburgh, which was taken over by Norwich Union (now Aviva).