LV= General Insurance, the UK’s third largest car insurer, and leading insurance industry law firm, Horwich Farrelly, have secured the convictions of a former solicitor and a doctor who were found to have independently assisted in a fraudulent insurance claim. Reflecting the total abuse of their positions, both were given custodial sentences. The solicitor was sentenced to 15 months in jail while the doctor was given a suspended sentence of six months.
Kamar Khan and Dr Asef Zafar were found guilty of contempt of court after presenting spurious medical documents on behalf of a claimant as evidence in a personal injury insurance claim. The deception came to light when the law firm accidentally submitted both the real report (stating an injury of one week) and the altered one (claiming six to eight months of pain).
When summing up the case at the Royal Courts of Justice, Judge Justice Garnham said that by investigating this “LV= had done the Court a service” He added: “… critical to the operation of our system of justice is the trust that courts have to place in solicitor and expert witnesses. Those who make false claims should expect to go to prison. Solicitors and expert witnesses who act dishonestly in the evidence they give to the court, whether in support of such claims or otherwise, must expect a similar outcome.”
In terms of motivation Justice Garnham stated on Mr Khan: “I have no doubt your motivation was greed pure and simple,” and on Dr Zafar “You were motivated first by your desire to keep the report writing factory you had devised running at full capacity so as to continue making the astonishing profit you told me about and then by the cowardly desire to cover up what you had done.”
Commenting on the case, Martin Milliner, Director of Claims at LV=, said: “Whilst this case has taken a considerable amount of time, effort and cost, it has been worth it in order to send a stark warning to the “professional enablers” of fraudulent claims. We place a lot of trust in our lawyers and doctors to act with integrity, which makes it even more shocking when they behave in such an unscrupulous way. LV= is always prepared to stand up to fraudsters to protect the premiums and the rights of our honest customers.”
Ronan McCann, Partner at Horwich Farrelly, added: “A case of this nature is unprecedented. The public’s trust in both the medical and legal profession has been severely let down. It took a herculean effort to get behind issues such as legal privilege and confidentiality but we managed to unearth a fraud and tackle professionals who sought to assist in the bringing of a fraudulent claim, focusing on profit as opposed to their overriding duties to the public and court alike. This case has taken over 5 years to reach its conclusion and it would have been very easy for LV= to walk away on any number of occasions, but they insisted on fighting for the principles involved.”
The background to the case:
Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group Limited (LVGIG) is an LV= branded strategic partnership between LV= and Allianz Holdings Plc, following the sale of a 49% stake in LV=’s General insurance business on 28th December 2017, creating the UK’s third largest personal insurer with over £1.7 billion annual premium income and serving over 6 million customers.
LVGIG is a holding company employing over 3000 staff and incorporating two regulated insurance companies. Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited (LVIC), registered in England and Wales number 03232514 and Highway Insurance Company Limited (HICO), registered in England and Wales number 03730662, both registered at County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF are part of the Liverpool Victoria Group of companies and are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. (LVIC FRN number 202965 and HICO FRN number 202972).
LV= and Liverpool Victoria are registered trademarks of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited and LV= and LV= Liverpool Victoria are trading styles of the Liverpool Victoria Group of companies.