Cost of motor insurance: follow up - Transport Committee Contents

Supplementary evidence from Paul Evans, AXA UK

I am writing in connection with my appearance to provide oral evidence to the Transport Select Committee's enquiry into the cost of motor insurance. During the session, I was asked by Mr Harris, "You mentioned alternative business structures. Is it correct that AXA is not going down that road and you have no plans at all to buy Knight Law Ltd, for example?" I replied correctly that, "Knight Law operates for us as a defendant; that is, it supports our defence of personal injury claims. It does not prosecute claims—that is, represent the claimants—and never will." Mr Harris then pressed, "You have no intention of purchasing it," to which I replied, "I have no intention of purchasing it. To be fair, I think I own part of it but I would need to clarify that. I have no intention whatsoever of it prosecuting personal injury claims against insurers." I would like to clarify this last point.

In the moment, I could not remember whether AXA owned all, or part of Knight Law, but I knew we had no acquisitions planned, and observed I would need to clarify the extent of our ownership. In fact AXA acquired 100% of Knight Law some years ago through the acquisition of another company. I would like this clarification to be recorded in the transcript. However, I note that it does not change the substance of my reply to the core of the question, which is that AXA does not intend to exploit alternative business structures to allow Knight Legal to prosecute personal injury claims so that AXA might profit from such claims.

October 2011

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