05/11/2020 - 11:46

Global firm buys HBA Legal

05/11/2020 - 11:46

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International insurance claims management company Crawford & Company has acquired Australian business HBA Group, which includes Perth-founded HBA Legal.

Brett Ablong will retain his position as managing director of HBA Legal.

International insurance claims management company Crawford & Company has acquired Australian business HBA Group, which includes Perth-founded HBA Legal.

HBA Group comprises HBA Legal, which was established in Perth in 2011, along with claims management business Paratus and legal process and technology provider Pillion.

Perth-based Brett Ablong will retain his position as managing director of HBA Legal while co-founder Nathan Hepple, who relocated to Sydney, becomes director of strategy & growth (Asia Pac) for Crawford Legal Services.

Atlanta-based Crawford is the world’s largest publicly-listed independent provider of claims management and outsourcing solutions to carriers, insurance brokers and corporates.

It established Crawford Legal Services as a startup business in the UK in 2016.

Crawford president Joseph Blanco said he saw significant opportunity to expand the group’s legal service capabilities in Australia.

“With its market standing, geographical reach and depth of expertise, HBA Group provides a fantastic platform from which to restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities,” Mr Blanco said in a statement.

“Since the launch of Crawford Legal Services in the UK in 2016, we have gained huge market traction by providing a powerful connected legal service and highly cost-efficient solution to our clients.

“I am delighted to be able to offer this level of service to the Australian market through HBA Group.”

Mr Ablong said that becoming part of CLS and the Crawford group created huge potential for HBA Legal.

“I am excited for our people as they are now part of a global organization, which will provide career and personal development opportunities,” he said.

“Our clients will also be able to access the full range of services available in Crawford for a connected claims service that no traditional law firm can provide.”

HBA Legal was founded in 2011, with 11 people in Sydney and Perth.

Operating as a defendant-only legal practice, it has since expanded to have a presence in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle, with a total of 83 people.

Its Perth office has 12 legal professionals and 22 staff.

The group diversified in 2017 when it established Paratus and Pillion.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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