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Change, enemy of the complacent, is no more apparent in professional life than in risk management. By Frank Maher, partner, Legal Risk.

26 April 2005

Change, enemy of the complacent, is no more apparent in professional life than in risk management.

For instance, the new Solicitors Indemnity Insurance Rules, effective from 1 October 2005, set out the Minimum Terms and Conditions for the insurance of solicitors in England and Wales. These will increase the minimum level of compulsory cover from £1m to £2m. Why does this matter to a firm with, say, £100m cover or more? As ever, the devil is in the detail, and all partners need to look carefully at the so-called aggregation rule.

In simple terms, the cover until now has been on an ‘any one claim’ basis, so every claim is covered for £1m (plus defence costs). But the new rules will enable insurers to curtail that severely. The new definition of one claim states that the insurance may provide (and one can assume that in practice, it will provide) that all claims shall be treated as one claim with one £2m indemnity limit if they arise from on...

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