On Friday 7th April 2017 the Association of Sri Lankan Lawyers in the UK organised and hosted a seminar together with Miller Insurance Services LLP. The focus of the Seminar was on the present professional indemnity insurance market and a how risks are rated.
The evening was opened by Mr Wasantha Tennakoon who is the General Secretary of ASLLUK. After a brief introduction and welcome, Mr Tennakoon opened up the seminar for its first speaker – Paddy Synnott from Miller Insurance. Paddy started off by introducing Miller to the attendees. He explained that Miller is a leading specialist insurance broking partnership, focussing on complex commercial insurance, facultative reinsurance, and delegated authority business. They have their headquarters in London and have more than 600 people across their UK and international operations – in other words – they are a big company who provide a wide and varied range of insurance products.
Miller are a leading company when it comes to providing professional indemnity to Solicitors and legal practitioners. It was a great opportunity to understand what an insurance broker would be looking for when obtaining indemnity on behalf of a solicitor. Mr Synnott took the time to explain what solicitors and legal practitioners should pay attention to when filling out the indemnity renewal forms in order to get the best possible deal available to them; the tips and suggestions handed down by Mr Synott were incredibly useful to say the least. He then went on to explain how risks are underwritten by indemnity providers.
Following Mr Synnott was Mr Paul Smith from CIRM Travellers. He is an excellent orator with a wealth of experience in indemnity cover for solicitors and he is currently working as a Solicitor and Senior Risk Management Consultant for Travellers. Mr Smith, with the aid of some very handy slides, took the attendees through those areas of legal practice which pose the greatest threat to indemnity providers. It was interesting to get an insight into the type of legal work which will attract the more expensive indemnity policies. He then related some attention-grabbing facts about the sorts of actions which often tend to lead to an indemnity claim being made against a lawyer. The top 3 errors which are made by solicitors which tend to lead to a claim tend to be as a result of 1) Dishonesty, 2) Clear Instructions not Being Followed, and 3) Legal Advice Being Incorrect. So if you are a Solicitor or Legal practitioner – pay attention to your actions under these headings. Mr Smith’s talk was particularly helpful for anyone practicing property law as his talk highlighted how property lawyers can better their practice and reduce their risks
After Mr Smith had finished his presentation, Paddy Synott came back on to talk more about how Solicitors can go about choosing the right indemnity provider form them. This part of the seminar
would have been particularly useful for sole practitioners and partners who have the trouble of choosing the right indemnity provider each year. He then focused his attentions of cyber security. Cyber threats have become an increasingly risky threat to any law firm. Law firms tend to hold a lot of sensitive information regarding their clients and having the right computer security in place is a must for any serious firm that wants to protect their clients’ information. Many law firms have got into trouble with the SRA for not having proper cyber security in place at their offices. If you did not get a copy of the hand out from this presentation, make sure you make the effort to obtain one as the segment on cyber security in particular is applicable to all of us.
The evening was finished off by Mr Richard Brown from Miller who focused his talk on how to fill out your professional indemnity renewal forms. He provided the attendees with some very useful and practical information which should and must be absorbed by anyone filling in their renewal forms. The best part of talk was the tips he provided on how to negotiate a better premium from a broker. Lets face it, at the end of the day, we all want the best policy for the cheapest price.
This seminar was incredibly useful and a good use of time for anyone that was there. ASLLUK and Miller have once again put on a worthwhile event for ASLLUK members and it was topped off with some great sandwiches and other refreshments. Lets hope the next seminar is just as successful.