title

Solicitors Professional Indemnity

The quality of your Solicitors Professional Indemnity Insurance underpins your reputation and integrity with your clients.  As a regulatory requirement, it's critical that it performs for you and your practice. As one of the few brokers with a specialist team dedicated to solicitors' PII it's perhaps no surprise that Lockton account for 30% of the insurance premium placed with the top 10 rated insurers.

Why choose us?

Competitive quotes from across the market

  • We access one of the widest range of insurer markets, including exclusive access to 3 A-rated insurers
  • Placing £86m in solicitors' PII premium across the market, we can negotiate harder on your behalf to secure the best long-term premium
  • We arrange cover for firms of all sizes, from sole practitioners to magic circle firms.

Simpler renewal process for you

  • Our online prepopulated proposal form ensures that your renewal process is as smooth and efficient as possible.

Our Service sets us apart

  • We offer independent advice on the best deal for you
  • We are specialists who understand your business.  Our dedicated Solicitors' Team is one of the largest in the country and works year round on servicing our solicitor clients' needs.
  • We provide you with a dedicated Account Manager who will be your first point of contact
  • We offer claims advocacy, risk management consultancy, and ongoing advice, training and support (including our suite of on-line resources) all year round

Reputation

  • Lockton has an enviable 95% client retention rate.  Most of our new business comes from referrals and recommendations
  • We only deal with reputable A-rated insurers. The service you receive, and your reputation, matters.

Solicitors Professional Indemnity FAQs

Now that there is no fixed renewal date, should I move to a different date at this renewal?

There is no simple answer to this question.  Some insurers are offering clients a range of renewal dates, while others are not.  There may be some potential saving on offer for a longer policy, but this does not appear to be the trend to date.

From the firm's perspective, the best reason for considering moving your renewal is if the 1st October renewal does not sit well with your Practice's Financial Year End.

For more information, read our article on the topic.  To discuss the issue in more detail, pick up the phone to one of our Solicitors' Team, who will be happy to assist.

How do I determine the level of cover I require?

The SRA now require firms to have in place an 'appropriate' level of cover.  While there remains a regulatory minimum level of cover (£2m for a partnership, and £3m for all other entities) this may not be adequate, given the nature of the work your practice undertakes. 

In determining what an 'appropriate' level of cover is, you should consider:

  • Your current work
  • Your anticipated future work
  • Your past work.  You should consider a minimum of 6 years' work history, but we would recommend at least 10 years' history is taken into account.

Remember that your PII policy is a 'claims made' policy.  This means that the available cover is determined by the cover you have in place at the time a claim is made, not when the work was undertaken.  Many claims, particularly arising from property, wills and trusts, tax and corporate and commercial work, arise several years after the actual error was made. 

Be alert to the fact that the potential claim value can be more than the face value of the transaction.  For example, an options claim may be for the lost development value of a piece of land rather than the actual cost of the land when purchased.  Clients circumstances also change, which can have an impact on the quantum of certain types of claim. 

For more information, speak to your Lockton Account Manager.

 

A client has approached me with a high value transaction in excess of my current limit of indemnity. Can I obtain additional cover for this one transaction only?

No.  If you wanted the benefit of additional cover, this would have to be taken out for the practice as a whole, for the whole year (or remainder of the insurance year, if purchased after your PII renewal).

Please note, as cover is on a 'claims made' basis, it is not advisable to take out additional cover for one year only - and, increasingly, commercial clients will require that a certain level of cover is retained for a number of years following the transaction.  Practices should therefore consider whether the transaction value will be a one-off, and whether the fees generated justify the long-term impact on the cost of the practice's PII.

We can provide you with indicative quotations for additional cover as required.

I have been offered a significant premium saving by moving to an unrated insurer. Should I accept this offer?

At a time when the financial pressures on law firms are at an all time high, it is very understandable that firms are looking for ways to save on the costs of their PII insurance.

Insuring with an un-rated carrier brings with it genuine risks for the practice and its partners/members.  Un-rated insurers do not carry adequate reserves to meet the requirements of reputable brokers such as Lockton.  There is a significant risk that they may not have financial strength to pay out the claims arising from the solicitors on their book of business.  This is even more likely to be an issue as it is often practices with poor claims records that insure with un-rated carriers.

While your practice may save money in the short-term, there is a considerable risk that, if your insurer becomes insolvent, partners/members may become personally liable for the cost of any claims.

If your un-rated insurer becomes insolvent, you may also find it much more difficult, subsequently, to obtain insurance from a rated insurer.

If you have concerns about your current premium, and want to know practical ways to reduce this, contact our Solicitors' Team.  We work hard for our clients to ensure that they pay as little as possible for the high quality of cover that they require.

Case study: assisting our client in the conduct of a lender claim

Our client, a top 50 UK law firm, acted for a very well known businessman in the purchase of various commercial properties.  The purchase agreements were extremely complex and required various short term loans.  Aspects of the loan agreements were backed by solicitor's undertakings.  Regrettably, the underlying client failed to put our client in funds in time for it to satisfy the undertakings it had given.  The Lenders then pursued a claim against our client.

A claim was presented to our client's PI Insurers, who tried to refuse indemnity by claiming that the undertakings were not given in the course of our client's legal practice.  We argued against the Insurers and their lawyers that this was not the case and assisted the client in properly formulating the supporting information and documents to prove that the undertakings were indeed given in the course of the client's legal practice.

The Insurers eventually conceded that two of the three undertakings were in fact given in the course of our client's practice and we ensured that our client was in receipt of the settlement funds within five days.  In addition, we negotiated that our client should maintain complete control of the recovery proceedings so that they could maintain the confidentiality of the transactions as well as contain any professional embarrassment that might have ensued.  The final part of our negotiations was to ensure that any recovery would be in favour of our client in the first instance.

To Contact Us By Phone

Our sales and enquiries lines are open 9AM to 5PM, Monday - Friday. We are closed at the weekend and on public holidays. Solicitors Hotline: 0845 050 1471