Arc Legal Group - Review

Arc Legal Group -
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GunnerMooney's review of Arc Legal Group -

“I am trained in law concerning civil obligations and...”


written by GunnerMooney on 30/01/2018

I am trained in law concerning civil obligations and evidence, and have had two claims referred to Arc Legal via my insurer Axa. On both occasions, the paralegals who were assigned to my cases rejected the claims after some enquiry. It is unfortunate that the regulator has not yet clamped down on this arrangement being run by insurer and legal insurance providers such as Arc Legal. If you stand back, you can clearly see why having a panel solicitor arrangement organised by insurer can never be a fair way of looking at claims. They take the most strict view of any case they review - effectively you receive something like a judgment against you drafted by a paralegal. They never write what is strong and arguable about your case. Neither do they explain the balancing exercise they carried out in determining that a claim has less than 50% chances of success. In summary, they leave the policy holder with an impression that they have a hopeless position. They boast about the low number of Financial Ombudsman complaints that are lodged against them. I reckon the number of claims they actually support beyond the stage of initial review are even lower. Not surprisingly they do not disclose it. Most people do not take Arc Legal to the Financial Ombudsman because it is an even higher hurdle to establish that Arc Legal were wrong in denying support, than it is to win one's bloody case. You don't want another enemy when you are already in dispute with someone else. It is high time the regulator stopped this malpractice on the citizens of this country and allowed the policy holder to approach any particular law firm of their choosing to determine the merit of the claim.

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Protectall's Comment

Written on: 08/02/2018

Totally agree!

However, I must point out that my experience is similar. For over 7 years we have been with Saga with a case completely proven against Harlow Council where their tree roots had damaged & displaced our boundary/garden wall and are threatening our home. WE have had 4 solicitors. The first negligent. The second lied - we were moved by the AA, and the solicitor was still paid from our indemnity. The AA allowed us to move to another firm of solicitors off their panel. I chose one that had a conflict of interest - they did not provide us with a letter of engagement - which I had to chase for. When it arrived, it was inaccurate. In short, the AA realised that this firm had issue with their conduct and had breached a number of the Saga terms and conditions of contract. But, still the AA paid them. When the AA stopped dealing with legal expenses, they were taken over by Arc Legal Assistance. In 2016 Arc Legal promised in writing to review our previous solicitors, advising that files had been retrieved, etc. They did no review. From 2013 onwards Saga, and then Acromas, advised that they would pass my claim to their Third Party Supplier Team to monitor the claim - there was no monitoring and I doubt whether this team even exists. In 2016 we had our final firm of solicitors who was not a senior solicitor as promised but an Assistant, who had no experience in property law, who did NOT offer legal advise but an opinion - which was basically to do nothing. That was at the start of the case in June 2016. He then offered conflicting advise, that he did not follow up on and breached Solicitors Regulation Authority and Civil Procedure Rules - and even got a structural engineer to do the same. Far more details than can say here - will need to do a web site if not resolved. But, left us uninsurable and caused my eczema, sepsis and heart attack.

Everything I say, and more, is fully supported with documentary evidence.

Now various bodies looking into this, and this is just the start! Others are being cheated I have seen on another review site. This has to be stopped. I wish you luck!

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Implacable's Comment

Written on: 21/02/2018

Having suffered a similar type of experience, I totally understand the stress and upset that results.

I too have a well-evidenced and documented case which I have been pursuing for some time. I believe we are the tip of an iceberg and it's high time the Legal Expenses racket was called to account.

I am very happy for review centre to pass on my email address to you or anyone else who would like to compare experiences with the aim of achieving some traction in challenging this atrocious conduct.

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Ouuuch's Comment

Written on: 25/03/2018

I agree. As a retired litigation solicitor, my view is that Arc Legal are getting money for old rope. What they provide in return for our premiums is simply a referral to a no win/no fee solicitor who will only take on the case if they are sure that they can make money from it. I was told by Irwin Mitchell, their panel solicitors, that, as my case was potentially worth less than £10,000, they wouldn’t be taking it on.

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Arclegalassistance's Comment

Written on: 22/02/2018

We are sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with your legal expenses claims.

As part of our claims handling process, we take the reasonable and fair approach of offering challenge options when the legal assessment is unsupportive.

Due to the anonymity of this website we are unable to identify your claims. However, I would like to invite you to contact us to discuss your claims or any concerns you have with them.

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Gunnersmoney's Comment

Written on: 27/02/2018

I am sorry there is nothing reasonable or fair about your review process either having been through it. Let’s not forget that a lawyer can argue a case either way depending on whose interest they are representing. Sadly I think you do not act as a Customers representative rather the insurers whose clear objective is to not have to pay the claim.

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Implacable's Comment

Written on: 28/02/2018

In my own experience, the Arc 'review process' a) takes months, and b) ignores all points of complaint. In my case, I smelt a rat very early on in the claim process without the benefit of the files. If Arc had provided all the background documents, as I was informed they would, then the extremely favourable counsel opinion hidden away in the files would have come to light without me having to drag it out of their panel solicitor's clutches.

Interestingly, as the FOS noted, when it suited Arc they argued that I was a client of the solicitors concerned, and when it didn't they argued the reverse. The FOS considered the solicitors to be an agent of Arc.

Perhaps Arc's own publicity material is relevant? In describing their 'unique' business model, to quote: "Our business model starts with delivery of legal advice by the experts, ie the law firms. Our partner firms will also take on a much larger proportion of the claims process than they do with traditional providers. This leads to a highly streamlined and efficient service to policyholders."

So there we have it, the solicitors acting for Arc both assess your legal case and process the claim while providing impartial advice to the insured and making it all very efficient.

I can certainly vouch for the fact that once they actually got around to it, they were very efficient in declining my claim without good reason in no time at all. Despite paying the premium and being left run my own legal case, at least those involved in falsely declining my claim were able to present invoices amounting to some £3,000 to Arc who appeared not to apply the same level of resistance that this unfortunate policyholder experienced.

I am quite sure there is a rational explanation for my experience, I wish I could elaborate but for reasons I fail to understand those involved, and you all know who you are, lapse into silence when asked to account for their conduct.

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Implacable's Comment

Written on: 20/02/2018

Your story chimes with my own unfortunate experience of encountering this organisation through John Lewis Insurance. When they refused a valid claim without good reason, I set about uncovering the truth. What an eye-opener that turned out to be! Once I dragged the documents out of their clutches I discovered that despite their panel solicitor telling me nothing had been done on my case, they had in fact instructed counsel, in my name, to give a merits opinion. Counsel responded by stating my case to be well founded and summarised that “the state of the evidence is such, that such a claim is likely to succeed". Nevertheless, they refused my claim. When I complained and asked them to explain the reasons, they failed to do so and neglected to disclose the counsel opinion.

You are absolutely spot on in your observations about the FOS. The only reason I was able to get the FOS to find in my favour was because I insisted on seeing all the documents. Otherwise the FOS would have taken the usual line that the insurer is entitled to rely on the opinion of their 'professional' advisers. Conveniently overlooking, of course, that the adviser is in essence acting as agent of the insurer.

In my opinion, the Legal Expenses 'industry' is long overdue for serious investigation and reform.

I have been working on this for some time and welcome feedback from others about their experience.

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Mb07's Comment

Written on: 01/10/2018

I just read your review and having trouble with the panel solicitors appointed by arc. Are you still out their?

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