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Horwich Farrelly are celebrating after winning the fraud investigation of the year prize at the Insurance POST Fraud Awards.

October 2020 – Horwich Farrelly secured an authoritative win at this year’s Insurance POST Fraud Awards (Thursday 1 October) when its investigation – and eventual striking off – of Dr Asef Zafar from the General Medical Council and the Professional Standards Authority for Health & Social Care, won the important, and much coveted, Investigation of the Year award.

The firm was shortlisted an unprecedented three times in the same category with two more investigations led by the Professional Enablers’ Team (PET). The fourth and final shortlisted nomination in the category was another Horwich Farrelly case – this time in collaboration with Zurich.

Speaking on the win and the role played by the specialist team who spearheaded it, Head of Fraud at Horwich Farrelly, Jared Mallinson, said: “The Investigation of the Year award is one that is coveted by many law firms. It is always a difficult category to be shortlisted in, so having three out of four nominations here is testament to our market-leading approach to identifying often highly complex fraudulent activity, and adapting new and innovative strategies to ensure our insurer clients are able to stay one step ahead of those engaging in spurious or outright illegal activities.

“It’s also especially satisfying to see that our Professional Enablers’ Team – headed by Alex Wilkinson, and who were pivotal in investigating and pursuing these individuals and organisations – were also shortlisted in the Independent Fraud Investigation Team of the Year. The Team have had an outstanding year in fighting, and raising awareness of, professional enablers in both the insurance sector and for the general public.”

With 13 dedicated categories, the awards, now in their twelfth year, showcase individuals and teams from across the insurance industry who have made a significant contribution to the detection or prevention of general insurance fraud.

Senior Associate, Jeanette Hines, who oversees Horwich Farrelly’s innovative Academy, was also celebrating after being Highly Commended in the Unsung Insurance Fraud Fighter of the Year award.

Horwich Farrelly Managing Partner, Ronan McCann, said: “These are incredible achievements for everyone involved. As well as showing the backing and encouragement we give our colleagues, the win for Investigation of the Year – and Jeanette being Highly Commended in another tough category – reflects the determination we have across the firm, at all levels, to fight fraud in the insurance industry in innovative ways.”

Horwich Farrelly’s counter-fraud department is one of the largest specialist units in the UK, helping insurers identify and defend fraudulent claims.

Zafar was a GP/medical expert who, after lengthy investigations by Horwich Farrelly, was found to have conspired with Kamar Khan – a former director of law firm Taylor Knight & Wolff who himself was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his part in the same scam – in altering medical reports.

Zafar received a six months suspended sentence in 2019 but, following much persistence by Horwich Farerlly and LV=, he was struck off by the GMC in 2020.