Solicitors Disciplinary Costs Insurance
Regulation, regulation, regulation…
Like in many other areas, regulations around solicitors’ insurance change with dull regularity, and it can be hard if not impossible for solicitors to keep focused on these moving goalposts. You could fall foul of regulations without even realising it – even if your business has a dedicated compliance manager or an almost-seamless compliance team!
Recent regulations such as the Outcome Focused Regulations have further worsened the shifting regulatory sands, and the likelihood of regulatory infringements and rule breaches could be higher than ever – notwithstanding the SRA’s practice of inspecting firms to ensure adherence to regulations and legislation!
What happens if…?
If you break a rule or infringe regulations, the issue might not be noticed – not at the time, and not in the future. Nonetheless, the SRA could one day visit your practice and discover that rules have been broken, and no matter how innocent the transgressions were, the firm will need to respond in a timely fashion.
If this happens to you, you’ll need specialist legal advice, and you’ll need it quickly!
Is disciplinary costs insurance covered by Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance?
The SRA decided in 2010 that the minimum terms and conditions of solicitors’ PII should not cover legal defence costs for disciplinary proceedings by either the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) or the SRA, as it was thought that it would not be ‘in the public interest’ for indemnity insurance to cover these claims.
As a result, solicitors may now either have to incur costs when defending themselves in a tribunal, or even pay compensation, penalties and other adverse costs that may be imposed.
Some insurers are still happy to include disciplinary costs insurance in their solicitors’ PII and cover these losses when they occur. The Law Society opposed the SRA’s plan to make this insurance cover mandatory, but was unsuccessful.
Taking out disciplinary costs insurance
The easiest way to take out disciplinary costs insurance is to speak to your professional indemnity insurance broker. Your current insurer may not offer this product, and you might have to find an alternative.
How Total Insurance can help
We aim to provide every kind of insurance solicitors need, and as part of this comprehensive package, we offer a disciplinary costs insurance product that will pay out any adverse costs a practice is told to pay from the SDT or the SRA.
Total Insurance aims to provide you with peace of mind, so if you ever need assistance, our disciplinary costs insurance also provides you with access to a free advice line, allowing you to speak with a panel with more than 100 years of collective experience in defending practices that are being investigated by the SDT or SRA.
This exemplary panel contains legal representatives from a range of sectors, all of whom have proven success in rectifying regulatory problems that may have affected a practice.
Solicitors’ disciplinary costs insurance is an insurance product that no legal practice should be without!