There have been numerous responses, but let's take into account whether the insured/claimant was already represented or just saying they were considering such.
In my early years as a staff rep, I had policy limit authority across all boards. My good leaders encouraged fair settlements, and as such.... we were also guided to be the good diplomats with the claimants as well as the insureds.
Most attorney involvement will occur in auto accidents or slip/falls, etc. In the midwest here, most people will not engage an attorney right away (if at all). But the question always came up when I met with the accident victim "do I need to get an attorney?". (Keep in mind this only deals with disputed or questionable losses.)
I would start off by thanking them for their cooperation in helping us obtain the details/facts of the claim (taking their statement), and assure them that we were only interested in settling the claim as the facts determined as based on statements from everyone who witnessed. I would also advise them that they were entitled to representation, but....if that happened,
1) We could no longer converse;
2) They may have to go thru their own carrier:
3) Please give me the time to fully investigate the loss;
4) If we did find that our insured was liable, and the claimant was injured, then give us an opportunity to work together.
The carrier I worked for allowed us to advance BI payments and treat the claimants as insureds. This kept attorneys out of the mix a majority of the time on 100% liability cases. I never badmouthed a plaintiff attorney, but just simply advised the claimaint that they could work with us and then if they weren't happy with the settlement offer...the attorney route was always open, and I gave them the specific statute of limitations.
This approach worked very well, but remember having policy limit authority as the face-to-face adjuster is much different than what probably is more common place. I would guess that a lot of times, there are too many bodies/voices in the mix. That equals legal representation.