Written on: 20/08/2013
In my experience, Arc Legal Assistance, in cahoots with its panel solicitors, Irwin Mitchell, will do everything possible and more to wriggle out of providing legal expenses cover.
Peace of mind, my foot! Dealing with Arc Legal and its panel solicitors has been more stressful and frustrating than coping with the legal dispute with which I applied for assistance in the first place!
The ubiqitous 'reasonable prospects' of success test is manipulated to the nth degree, so that the insured cannot hope to obtain indemnity without first spending hundreds, if not thousands, on the the experts' reports which may or may not, at some point in the distant future, be required to support the case.
Funnily enough, numerous non-panel solicitors, on the other hand, did not require me to fund experts' reports before assessing the merits of my claim. However, Arc would not provide cover for any of them.
I was told to write letters myself, to ask a surveyor for legal advice and eventually informed, after jumping through hoops, that I wouldn't be covered unless I could demonstrate that my claim was worth more than 10K, ie, the present small claims limit.
The one thing that is abundantly clear to me is that Arc Legal is determined not to spend any money.
Unfortunately, the powers that be, such as Justice Secretary and the Law Society, seem not to be remotely interested in protecting the consumer, although, to be fair, Longmore LJ has stated that legal expenses insurers exhibit "an insouciance to their obligations under the Directive and the Regulations which leaves one quite breathless".
Had it been possible to leave no stars, I would have done so, as I have received zilch in return for my premium.
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