The battle within: Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2016

The battle within: Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2016

With cyber risk exploding and storm clouds over the economy, it’s harder than ever to balance risk with commercial realities. Legal Business’ annual risk survey asks how law firms are coping.

While no major law firm has yet fallen prey to the sort of high-profile data breach that the mobile operator Talk Talk suffered in 2015, the threat is front and centre of every risk manager’s mind. For those polled in Legal Business’ ninth annual risk management survey with broker Marsh, ‘IT security breach/data management accident or breach’ was again regarded as the most significant risk to law firms in terms of the damage it could cause and the likelihood of it occurring (see table).

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The 2015 Risk Report – What lies beneath

The 2015 Risk Report – What lies beneath

Law firms have benefited from a relatively settled risk environment, despite a run of crisis-linked claims. But Legal Business’ annual risk survey finds dangers new and old lurking beneath the surface.

On the face of it, news in December 2014 that the number of professional negligence claims against solicitors had tripled in a year, based on research from RPC, was enough to give law firm risk managers and professional indemnity insurance (PII) specialists pause. RPC reported that High Court cases against law firms for professional negligence had increased by 192% from 143 in 2013 to 418.

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Where the bodies lie – the risk report 2014

Where the bodies lie – the risk report 2014

 

While the regulatory upheaval of recent years has calmed down, our annual risk report finds law firms facing many threats lurking around the corner

In our seventh annual risk management and professional indemnity survey with broker Marsh, we asked law firms if they felt they had got to grips yet internally with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) regime. One firm said: ‘Yes but it is continuous improvement so it can never be “completed”.’

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Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Counting the Cost

Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Counting the Cost

While the end of the assigned risks pool may encourage more insurers into the market, professional indemnity insurance for law firms is as competitively priced as ever.

As law firms experience constant pressure to rein in costs, the pricing of professional indemnity insurance (PII) is high on the agenda. As PII is typically law firms’ third-largest expense, after staff and premises, that 76% of respondents said that they found PII generally to be reasonably priced (a marginal increase on 71% last year) is good news for firms generally. But despite widespread reports of an increasingly soft market, the number of respondents saying their insurance is over-inflated has increased from 7% to 17%.

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Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Finding the Balance

Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Finding the Balance

New reporting requirements under the SRA’s outcomes-focused regulations have put additional pressure on risk teams’ resources but finding the right individuals for the new COLP and COFA roles has been the top priority.

Risk teams have been pulled in many directions in the last few years but top of their agenda throughout 2012 was going through the process to appoint the compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) and the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA). The new roles were introduced as part of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s push into outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) but for some the process has been painful and protracted, while some firms were still waiting for the individuals they nominated for the COLP role to be approved.

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Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Same Old Fears

Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Same Old Fears

Despite renewed focus on outcomes-focused regulation, IT security and conflicts remain the key threats keeping risk teams awake at night.

This section of the report analyses the likely impact of various risk scenarios on law firms and the likelihood of those situations occurring. Typically those situations that potentially have the most serious impact on a firm’s business are the least likely to occur, and vice versa. ‘Legal Risk Profile’ tables show the mean scores for impact and potential as separate indices.

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Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Getting it Right

Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2013: Getting it Right

Following successive years of regulatory change, including the introduction of outcomes-focused regulation, COLPs and COFAs, risk teams are now in a phase of assimilating those changes. Legal Business tracks progress so far

After five years of reporting on the torrent of regulatory change that has swept through law firms, this year’s Legal Business/Marsh risk management and professional indemnity survey finds risk managers within law firms looking to assimilate those changes. In our sixth annual report on the market, the buzzword is ‘embedding’ – ensuring the upheaval caused by the introduction of outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) and the new high-profile risk management roles (the compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) and the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA)) are properly implemented.

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Risk Management and Professional Indemnity Survey 2012 – Treading Carefully

Risk Management and Professional Indemnity Survey 2012 – Treading Carefully

In our fifth annual risk management and professional indemnity survey in association with Marsh, the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser, we analyse the latest trends in risk management, reveal the results of our far reaching survey and talk to the leading names in risk management at the City’s largest firms.

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Moving the Goalposts – Risk Management Survey Part 4

Moving the Goalposts – Risk Management Survey Part 4

Discussion over scrapping the single professional indemnity insurance renewal date and consigning the assigned risks pool to history has reignited. LB reassesses the state of play

In our report last year, it seemed that the debate over whether to move away from a single renewal date for law firms’ professional indemnity insurance (PII) had been settled. Insurers, brokers and risk advisers, such as Marsh, felt that it hadn’t been thought through properly. Risk managers at the top-150 law firms surveyed couldn’t see the benefits of staggering renewal dates. Even the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) itself, after taking advice from various corners of the industry, declared the likelihood of scrapping the single renewal date for solicitors’ PII as ‘improbable’.

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