The way ahead
24th September 2014
Here at QLP we are coming to the end of the Solicitors’ professional indemnity season and looking ahead, what next? Well the obvious answer is Christmas!
But on a more cheerful note, what is happening. Here at QLP we have put in a new computer system. Re done the wiring even have new chairs but everything seems the same. Good news I suppose, nothing has broken down(yet!!!)
So what challenges does all the new kit face?
Over the years we have settled into a nice easy system of working, all the little kinks have been ironed out and life was calm. Then things started happening, Jackson came into force and nothing was left untouched. To be honest the post Jackson world was fun, new avenues had to be found, all the old certainties went, business was much more a rollercoaster.
18 months down the line, new ideas are in place, underwriters come and go, new faces are everywhere. There has been a lot of innovation, new ideas, policies etc.
I think the main thing to come out of all the turmoil is ‘the answer is never no’. As lawyers come up with strange requests, a little thought and a conversation with an underwriter can sometimes produce a new angle on an old theme.
For example, direct access to barristers, most underwriters automatically say no, why? Secondly, some underwriters say that their premium would be disproportionate in a case, as the client pays the premium, surely it is their decision. If a case is likely to succeed, should not the client have the right to justice?
Today we are very nearly back to where we were before Jackson in terms of cases and policies. For smaller cases we now use schemes, ‘if it fits the criteria it’s in’, think of it as a sausage machine.
For larger cases, clinical negligence, commercial etc. it is now possible to insure and provide funding (cash!) to help run the case. This can remove pressure on the firm’s balance sheet (both lawyer and client)
The rule going forward must be, ‘ask otherwise the answer is always no’.
If the above is not enough, as I said earlier, it’s nearly Christmas!