One of the world's largest medical legal assistance organisations - the Medical Defence Union - has rearranged its claim funding structure by forming its own Guernsey- based captive, the MDU Insurance Company Limited.

The change comes after years of escalating claim payments - up from £30,000 in 1964 to £36m. in 1994 - coupled with forecasts of worse to come because of the UK's adoption of the American style 'no win, no fee' system.

Last year the MDU decided to undertake a complete review of its claim funding structure which led to a nine-month, detailed feasibility study with sixteen captive domiciles, other than Guernsey, bidding for its business.

Steve Butterworth, Superintendent of Insurance says: 'Because Guernsey came out on top, we know the Island's resources have to be the best in the world.'

Founded in 1865, the MDU provides legal aid and indemnity cover to over 130,000 doctors, dentists, nurses, other healthcare professionals and specialists in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Dr Christopher Earl, Vice Chairman of the MDU and Chairman of its new insurance company, said: 'The efforts of the States of Guernsey and the Guernsey financial community to help us achieve our aims has been exemplary and of the same high standards that our own membership seek to achieve as medical professionals.'

MDU Insurance Company Limited is managed by UNISON Management (Guernsey) Limited.

For further information contact Peter Crook on Tel: +44 (0) 1481 712 706 or Fax: +44 (0) 1481 712 010.

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