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Dare to risk

Considering the importance of risk management to a profession that is more exposed to the scrutiny of the insurance industry than ever before, it is still an area that is largely undervalued. John Goreing, finance director at Fladgate Fielder, assesses the risks that the legal profession faces and explains why firms must build a framework and methodology for identifying risk and effectively implement a risk-management strategy across the business.

11 June 2004

The modern word ‘risk’ derives from the early Italian risicare, which means to dare. In this sense, risk is a choice rather than a fate. The actions we dare to take, which depend on how free we are to make choices, are what risk is all about.

Risk control or risk management is, in practice, the process an organisation goes through to ensure that the risks it is exposed to are the risks it thinks it is, and wants to be, exposed to (this is not necessarily synonymous with risk reduction). It follows, therefore, that an organisation has to ensure that any decisions made within it are ones it wants to be made or indeed allows to be made.

The range of risks

There is not a turnkey solution for implementing risk management in any organisation, let alone in the legal profession with all its inherent diversities. To enable an effective risk-management programme, it is necessary to create a framework for analysing the risk to which a firm is exp...

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