Public trust is best guide for professional indemnity insurance rules

News the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is to drop proposals to lower the levels of professional indemnity insurance (PII) was today welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.

Now solicitors and the public will continue to be protected by copper bottomed insurance - vital given the gravity of the issues the profession deals with for businesses and individuals.

“No other profession in the UK today offers their clients such comprehensive or robust protection,” Law Society president Simon Davis said.

“The Law Society worked with the insurance industry and client groups to present a compelling case against the proposed reforms. Our consultation response was supported by many submissions from local law societies, specialist groups representing lawyers, and individual solicitors.

“With one voice, solicitors urged the SRA to maintain the rigorous professional indemnity insurance rules that protect our clients and the profession.

“PII is key to maintaining public trust in solicitors and the legal sector, which in turn underpins the rule of law and the globally recognised high standards of the legal services of England and Wales.

“The SRA is to be heartily commended for listening and taking account of the evidence presented to them and recognising that their proposed reforms would not deliver the hoped-for benefits.

“Clients, employees and solicitors would have borne significantly higher risk, and there was no evidence this would have been counterbalanced by lower insurance premiums.

“Premiums already reflect levels of risk in the work a firm undertakes, so the idea that the current system is unfairly ‘one size fits all’ is without foundation, and cost is front-loaded into the first £500,000 of cover, so lowering minimum indemnity limits to anything less than that would not have led to savings.

“The proposed changes would have radically reduced financial protections for clients and solicitors and were without merit, so it is hugely reassuring that they have been abandoned.”

Notes for editors

Law Society consultation response

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Harriet Beaumont | 0203 049 3854