Claims Apprentice 2019 - Q&A with Kennedys' Senior Partner Nick Thomas

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2019-01-09

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The Claims Apprentice initiative in partnership with Insurance Post is designed to unearth and help up-and-coming individuals working in the claims market.  Find out more below from Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys, who will be taking on the role of Alan Sugar to help decide the eventual winner.

Why is working in claims so rewarding?
The great thing about working in claims is that one is not working solely with the law, but also with the different fact patterns thrown up by each individual claim. We have to understand the workings of the many businesses we interact with, learning what good looks like for them, so that we can properly assess the allegations of negligence being made against them.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?
Harry Hails, my mentor as a young lawyer. A great man whose war service and young family meant that he never had time to qualify as a lawyer, but was one of the best lawyers I have ever met, and a good man. With moral dilemmas I still ask myself “what would Harry do?”

The great thing about working in claims is that one is not working solely with the law, but also with the different fact patterns thrown up by each individual claim.

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner

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What has been the best piece of advice ever given to you during your career?
When in doubt make a decision and then move heaven and earth to make it the right one. No-one ever crossed a ravine in more than a single leap.

What are you looking for in terms of the Claims Apprentice winner?
Technical ability, common sense and an appreciation of the commercial realities of a claims handling role – at the end of the day all any insured is buying is the claims handling service, and their experience of that will drive their view of the insurer in question

If you had not entered law, what would you be doing today?
It is difficult to think of another job which would require the same mix of technical skills, project management ability and commerciality – perhaps Management Consulting?

Who from outside insurance, do you think would make a great claims manager and why?
Horatio Nelson; a great strategist who still paid attention to detail and was able to delegate, be brave and charismatic, whilst remaining a man of the people.

This article originally appeared on Insurance Post.