FL360 (trading as handl Group), the portfolio management company that owns brands such as Corporé, EQL and Speed Medical, has today announced the completion of their acquisition of online alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider, Autoresolutions Limited. Autoresolutions is the only company making online ADR available for credit hire claims. The company 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.
Handl Group Chief Executive Officer, Graham Pulford, said: “It is great news that we have acquired Autoresolutions as part of our expanding range of businesses that provide solutions to the insurance and legal sectors. We have already established our interest in offering effective and reasonably priced dispute resolution service for personal injury claims through our start-up, Claimspace – one of our existing group companies. Claimspace launches officially in 2021.
Graham explained that market appetite for ADR solutions had ramped up exponentially following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Civil Justice. He cited recent figures from the Ministry of Justice for July – 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 longer than the same period in 2019.
He 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. 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.
“Both Claimspace and Autoresolutions use the same platform technology that has been developed under the guidance of Autoresolutions founder, Stewart McCulloch, who will now run both companies on behalf of the Group. We are fortunate to have Stewart on board with us and to support his vision of providing accessible ADR and significantly lowered frictional cost through the use of technology.”
Stewart McCulloch said that the ADR journey is built on 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.”
The deal is effective immediately and the consideration is undisclosed.