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As our 20th anniversary celebrations continue, Frank O’Malley and Richard Finan look back at the early days of Arc Legal and share their aspirations and proudest moments.
How did you meet and what inspired you to create Arc Legal?

We both worked for Hambro Legal Protection and met on the office stairs in 1990. Hambro was a traditional Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) company, established in the mid-70s, the business focussed on servicing Motor LEI where brokers would recover their customers’ excess in non-fault claims. When LEI was established, this provided brokers with the opportunity to sell add-on products and outsource the recovery of the excess to an LEI insurer, taking away a cost base from the broker and giving them an additional revenue stream.

This long-established model had challenges as it was based on inherent conflict between solicitors and insurers with many duplications in the process, i.e., insurers looking at cases and then sending to a panel of solicitors to review again which caused processing delays and increased costs.

The traditional model worked at that time as there were no alternatives, i.e., multi-disciplinary law firms that could provide the services on an outsourced basis.

We started with a blank piece of paper with a goal to streamline the process, improve the customer journey and eliminate duplication.

What was the biggest challenge starting out?

Our aim was to become one of the leading providers of LEI in the market, working with a small number of quality law firms, who were aligned with our commercial interests to remove duplication of process and strip out unnecessary costs. The new simple concept was live from day one, with Arc Legal managing the claims service and quality UK-domiciled, rated capacity, and the law firms servicing legal advice and dealing with claims.

In 2003 there were fewer barriers to entry than there is now. We didn’t want to launch the business with a high amount of debt and within the 2nd year of trading we were already turning a profit.

What are your proudest moments?

Securing our first two contracts with LV= and the Metropolitan Federation, contracts that we still hold today.

Becoming part of AmTrust Financial Services in 2016 was another proud moment, an acknowledgement and validation that we had succeeded, and the business was ready to expand further with a portfolio of new products and services.

In 2022 we employed our first member of staff who was born after 2003 which was a landmark moment.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?

Trust your intuition, we often have a gut feel and sometimes you hold back. Go with your gut.

How have your company values evolved over the years?

Our company values have evolved over the years as we moved into a group entity, but transparency has remained one of our core values from the very beginning, along with quality, sustainability, and customer service.

We’ve embraced technology and were the first LEI insurer to launch an online claims system; we are experts in our field with superb product and market knowledge, supported by over two decades of industry expertise and our core values now include:

  • Collaboration and technology
  • Distinction and insights
  • Leadership and innovation

The name ‘Arc Legal’ was borne as traditionally, LEI insurers would act as a middleman between the underwriter, solicitors, clients, and customers, Arc Legal was created to arch over the relationship with a clear line of communication.

The focus on customer outcomes and values has been positive for the market, and the product value to the customer is now paramount.

For further information on our products and services, please contact your Partnerships Manager or email

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