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Mergers, Claims Trends & PII Reform Discussed At Spring Solicitor Seminars

Our Spring Seminars for Solicitors ended at Chester, with a great attendance by Cheshire and North Wales law firms at the DoubleTree Hilton.

We also visited Shrewsbury and Stafford, with very positive feedback received about the content and speakers from all events.

At the Seminars, Gary Christianson took us through the interesting topic of Exits, Mergers and Acquisitions with some real events of issues which law firms had faced.

Often forgotten was the topic of Professional Indemnity Insurance during a merger. We heard about how several predominant firms’ premiums had rocketed due to claims on old cases from the merged firm, which had not been thoroughly divulged or understood at the time of the merger.

Gary stated how it was essential to understand the previous and existing areas of law that the merged firm had acted within and to speak with an insurance firm about how premiums may be impacted, prior to the merger.

Angus Turner of Mills & Reeve shared current claim trends in Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance. Whilst half are typically based on property law, 2019 claims have also included recession, data breach, fraud and probate issues.

Cyber and data breach claims, including problems caused by system errors and ‘artificial intelligence’ are particularly an increasing source of insurance claims.

Angus recommended that firms review or implement a cyber insurance policy, as often Professional Indemnity alone doesn’t cover many of the claims situations they have been encountering.

Mental Health was also stated as a reason for claims, with firms urged to look at how they can keep communication channels open for staff members who may be suffering with stress or an increased workload.

Richard Amphlett from Cox Mahon looked at the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA)’s proposed changes to PII.

The original changes of 2018 will not be put forward, but a two tier insurance structure may be implemented to separate cover needed for Freelance solicitors compared to a standard LLP. The SRA are reassuring firms involved in the consultation, that consumer protection is front of mind.

Richard also presented an overview of changing and possibly more challenging PI insurance market at the forthcoming 1st October renewal.

Andrew Kenyon of Cox Mahon concluded the Seminar, when attendees then shared drinks and canapés over informal networking. Donations were collected for Cox Mahon’s charity, Midlands Air Ambulance.

If you wish to be invited to attend our next round of Managing Partner Briefings for Solicitors, please join our mailing list on the link below (tick Events) or contact us on 01743 366350: