Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
With over 30 practice areas, we have all bases covered. Find out how we can help
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Regulatory, business information and analytics solutions that help professionals make better decisions
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Discuss the latest legal developments, ask questions, and share best practice with other LexisPSL subscribers
By Frank Maher
Solicitors in England and Wales will be renewing their compulsory insurance on 1 October 2013. This will be the last year that the date is cast in tablets of stone, and some may renew for more than one year in order to move away from the date which the rest of the profession may continue to adopt through inertia. What will the renewal season be like, and what other issues are emerging in relation to cover?
Insurers of US firms have encountered a sustained run of large claims with some very significant loss ratios, though the number of circumstances notified is down. Experience in the UK in the past couple of years has generally been significantly better. The primary limitation period for lender claims arising from the economic woes of 2008 is gradually approaching, and whether or not this flushes out a large number of claims will have a significant impact on the future.
With that said, I expect no significant difficulty for the majority of large firms renewing cover. However, the position may not be so rosy for small firms. The breadth of compulsory cover has made many an unattractive risk for established insurers and thrust many into the arms of the unrated market. While being unrated does not necessarily indicate that an insurer is unable to meet claims, given the long term nature of solicitors’ professional indemnity, more so than other professions, it puts premium-paying buyers on enquiry. However, although the Law Society has published advice on Financial Security of your PII insurer and cautioned solicitors against buying from unrated insurers, the reality is that many have no choice, other than to close down.
The position is exacerbated by the situation involving Balva which arose after our last Risk Update. Balva insure 1300 firms. Their Latvian regulator has barred them from writing further business in the UK. There is no suggestion that they are insolvent, but I have yet to see any evidence that provides reassurance for the long term. The econo
Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK
* denotes a required field
**excludes LexisPSL Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial. See our full terms here.
Access this article and thousands of others like it free by subscribing to our blog.
Read full article
Already a subscriber? Login
Frank Maher is a
practising solicitor and partner in Legal Risk LLP. He specialises in
advising major US, European and UK 100 law firms, their insurers and
other professions on professional regulation and professional indemnity.
His practice covers transactional advice, litigation and disciplinary
proceedings. He is advising a number of practices on regulation as
Alternative Business Structures under the new regulatory regime in the
UK which permit non-lawyer investment and involvement in law firms.
Frank has a diploma in Anti Money Laundering from the International
Compliance Association, accredited by the Business School of the
University of Manchester. He also has a Practitioner Certificate in Data
Frank is author of Risk and Compliance for Law Firms in a Changed World and co-author with Sue Mawdsley of The Money Laundering Reporting Officer’s Handbook: A Guide for solicitors. He is also a contributor to Ark Group’s Future of Legal Services Report.
He has 28 years’ experience of defending many of the largest law firm
claims for insurers. His claims experience includes many involving
fraud issues in the UK and elsewhere, property, undertakings, financial
services and consumer credit.
He has advised City firms and many other practices on dealing with
compliance and insurance aspects of rogue partner and employee issues.
He is also a frequent contributor to the legal and insurance press and a regular speaker at events worldwide.
Legal Risk LLP is a UK law firm whose clients include six Am Law 100
and ten Am Law 200 firms, many of the leading European and UK law firms
and US and UK insurers on professional regulation, risk management,
anti-money laundering, and professional indemnity. The partners’
combined experience covers a wide range of commercial, banking,
insolvency, anti-money laundering, professional indemnity insurance and
disciplinary and compliance issues. The firm is frequently instructed in
the insurance aspects of law firm mergers.
Legal Risk is recommended by Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for
professional indemnity and professional regulation, and was winner of
the Law Society’s Gazette Centenary Award for Excellence in Risk
0330 161 1234