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Archive for August, 2010

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Lawcast 167: Oliver Wharmby, Priest & Co, on Professional Indemnity Insurance for Solicitors

Professional Indemnity Insurance for solicitors is a matter of great importance – without it, solicitors cannot practice. I talk to Oliver Wharmby of Priest & Co, lloyds Insurance Brokers on the the current state of play in the insurance market which is by no means as straightforward as, perhaps, it was in previous years with Quinm not re-entering the solicitors professional indemnity insurance (PII) market this year in England & Wales.

We discuss:

1.  Introduction – what is PI – what does it cover and why do solicitors have to have it  – how much cover do big / small firms typically arrange? – any maximum on payout?  – What about excess?

2.  What is the scale of claims – roughly how many each year – value of claims – who are the biggest claimers / biggest risk

3.  Who provides the Insurance – qualifying insurer – how many – effect of Quinn / Hiscox – how difficult is insurance to get?  – what do insurers look for?  – difference between major Magic Circle firm and small practice – premium differential.

4.  When do solicitors need to get their Insurance organised by?

5. What if no-one will cover a firm?

6. What is the outlook for the forthcoming renewal season?

7.When is the best time to be obtaining quotes?

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

(Due to internet connectivity issues – there is a very short passage midway where sound quality deteriorates.  It is, however, brief)

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Priest and Co are Lloyds Insurance Brokers and specialists in Professional Indemnity Insurance for the legal profession. They are happy to work in a broker capacity approaching the markets they have access to, but also in an advisory role to ensure all markets have been approached. They also have access to a distressed market for those firms that have no other alternative but the assigned risk pool.

If you would like some advice or to discuss matters with Oliver Wharmby – he would be delighted to assist.  You may contact him by email or through his office at Priest & Co

Email
Tel: 0207 648 4122

The Law Society require that cover is provided through a qualifying insurer and in line with the minimum requirements. Because the Law society require cover to be so broad, there are very few insurers that are willing to provide the insurance. This creates a lack of supply for the large demand. There are roughly 12,000 law firms in the UK with one renewal date on 1st October.

Law Society Update

PII support

Quinn update

We have just learned that Quinn Insurance Limited has confirmed that it will not be re-entering the solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance (PII) market in England and Wales this year.

Articles worth looking at to follow up on this topic

http://www.thelawyer.com/trouble-indemnity/1005184.article

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/blogs/news-blog/act-fast-avoid-pii-misery

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/zurich-cut-new-pii-business-significantly

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/chartis-delivers-professional-indemnity-insurance-blow

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I have come up with a new idea to accompany my Smokedo exercises.  I have decided to walk for precisely 30 minutes and see how far I get and then walk back.  This will ensure that I walk for at least one hour daily and have a random experience.  Today, I started from Battersea Square and ended up at Sloane Square Tube station.  While I was tempted to get on a 319 bus back to Battersea Bridge I resisted – and then got completely soaked in the deluge. Tomorrow, I hope to get further for my 30 minutes… and so on.  I could end up in Birmingham with a bit of practice, dedication and effort – and then what will I do?

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Silly Season News

After implausible tales of a rogue long distance swimming salt water crocodile terrorising French and English bathers in the English Channel last week in The Sun (It turned out, predictably, to be a large log),  we have the equally implausible story of the football loving Coalition government backing the Ingerland World Cup hosting bid –  with Mao Tse Clegg, deputy prime minister, saying our bid is ‘unbeatable’. (BBC)  [I like a bit of good old Ingerlish ‘hubris’.  I remember that the Ingerland footer team is ‘unbeatable’… well…. they did win the 1066 World Cup when the team was captained by The Duke of Normandy]

You will note that he did not say that the Ingerland football team is ‘unbeatable’. That would be an incredible thing to say, even for a running dog imperialist historico-political revisionist who has ‘Road to Damascus’ moments most days when he recants on his previously held Lib-Dem views expressed before the election.   You will also note that he tells FIFA that England, as opposed to Ingerland, has a passion for football.  This may or may not be true.  I did not notice many Ingerland or England supporters actually watching the World Cup on television in the Battersea Square bars after Ingerland knocked themselves out of the last World Cup in Vuvuzela Land.

I don’t actually care whether England hosts the 2018 World Cup or not – but there again, my interest in the London Olympics is also close to zero – unless they allow the athletes to enhance their performance with drugs.  As I have often said – I’d pay good money to see a man jump 70 ft into the air or do 100 metres faster than Clarkson can do it in a Bugatti Veyron.  I suppose one advantage of hosting the World Cup is that Ingerland would actually get into the first round without having to go through the unpleasant and angst ridden business of ‘qualifying’ and we could come up with some annoying ‘gimmick’ to equal the Vuvuzela and get everyone to sing Rule Britannia when Ingerland get knocked out in the second round.   It is not known how many of the present public school dominated Cabinet even know what a football is. Perhaps a Freedom of Information request?

And talking of Freedom of Information requests…. Guido Fawkes has an interesting one on his blog this morning…..

Just Asking

Guido asks…… for information about Christopher Mayers (25) former driver to William Hague – and now a Special Adviser…  I can do no better than quote Guido: “Seems odd that young Christopher Myers (25) should go from driving William Hague (49) around his constituency during the election to become his third SpAd. According to Peter McLay the FCO says the Foreign Secretary “needs another adviser because he has additional responsibilities, having bagged the Peter Mandelson title of First Secretary of State. Perhaps so, but Mandelson didn’t hire young friends as special advisers, so far as I know.” Quite.”

And some far from silly, silly season news….

The cruel and unusual punishment of Teresa Lewis

The case of the first woman to be executed in Virginia for a century highlights America’s death row shame.

Alex Hannaford writing in the Guardian: “On 23 September, 40-year-old Teresa Lewis will become the first woman to be executed in the state of Virginia for almost a century. She’ll also be the first woman put to death in the US since 2005. Considering that, in the intervening five years, around 220 men will have been executed, it puts it into perspective: executing women is unusual. Of more than 1,200 executions carried out since the US supreme court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, only 11 were of women. And each time that happens, it’s stunningly bad PR for an increasingly unpopular facet of the American justice system…..

Hannaford reminds us: “And later this year, there’s a good chance that a British passport holder, 51-year-old Linda Carty, will join Lewis. I have written about Carty before: her trial was seriously flawed, and if, like Lewis, she is also given a 2010 execution date, it will draw even more attention to the US’s dire record on capital punishment.”

I am a fan of America and the Americans I know – BUT: I deplore their use of the death penalty – it puts them on a moral par with those states which employ stoning as a means of punishment. And before we get the absurd argument that putting someone to death by electrocution, gas or lethal injection is ‘more humane’ (it may well not be – Ronnie Lee Gardner chose to have five men shoot him to death with rifles rather than have lethal injection in Utah recently) – the result is the same: State sanctioned murder. It is only fair to point out that not all states in the USA use the death penalty and many Americans are against it.

So… back to some silly Silly Season news…where else, but The Sun?

First up….

Olly: I’m furious with my twit bro – OLLY Murs says he’s ‘disgusted’ with twin brother for claiming he tore their family apart

Yawn….

And for Sun readers with an unusually low libido or who need a ‘saucy’ good old British seaside postcard to assist them……

Peek-a-boob, Bey

BEYONCE and Jay-Z move their holiday on to France – but star obviously forgets her bra

And over at SCROUNGER WATCH…..


THE benefits scrounger who is dad to 11 kids and has one on the way has fathered yet another – by the BEST FRIEND of his missus.

The Sun

But at least over at the refined world of Cricket which is no longer administered world wide from Lords in London by the MCC but from Dubai – wherever that is …. this from Ricky Ponting…

Ponting: You’re not real Poms

RICKY PONTING fired up the Ashes phoney war, taunting England for a lack of true Poms

I have now lost the will to continue… enjoy your day.

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I was fairly certain that Wakefield is in West Yorkshire, but for reasons which will become clear I confirmed that this is the case by using Google maps.  Hat Tip to @Crime Counsel on twitter for drawing my attention to this extraordinary website promoting ‘Wakefield’ solictors which appears to have been translated from the original Russian into English using Google Translate or Babelfish

Will I need a Solicitor or Barrister in Wakefield?

Increasingly, a difference between barristers and solicitors has proved to become obscured because some solicitors secure the position in order to symbolise his or her clients in during later stages of legal proceedings and a growing amount of barristers deliver legal advice as well as the work conducted in court.

Helpfully, The draftsman – who may, as @Crime Counsel observed, have played a part of drafting Criminal Justice legislation, goes on to reveal….

Solicitors in Wakefield

Usually, solicitors provided advice for clients and, in criminal trials or litigation instances, organized their matters for them whereas the principle role of barristers would be to represent them at court. Yet, your initial point of contact will typically be the solicitors organisation. While a number of barristers will accept direct instructions from clients (mainly commercial kinds, especially pertaining to tax and insolvency), the large majority are not and are only addressed by means of a solicitor.
Even so, many that do, can often prove less expensive than utilizing a solicitor yet you have to understand how to utilize barristers and not hold expectations of the clerical backing supplied with a legal practice.
Solicitor: a Solicitor will be qualified and skilled who will have achieved post-graduate certification as well as a 2 year work placement including training….

It does get worse…..or, if you fancy a laugh….better…

It appears that the web developers may have consulted the very helpful web guide for ‘Other Law Firms’  produced by Muttley Dastardly LLP here and here (Get your ass out there)

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To listen you have to be silent!

Lying in bed listening to the heavy rain with Radio 4 on in the background.  Heard the words that to listen one has to be silent.   Listen and silent have the same letters.  I rather like that

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PODCAST VERSION: MUTTLEY DASTARDLY LLP – EPISODE 1

Eva Braun walked into the waiting area outside Matt Muttley’s office on the top floor, elegantly dressed in a dark tailored suit and black court shoes. “Mr Muttley will see you now.  I will show you in.”

James Harrison, confirmed as an associate with the firm only three weeks before, walked into the large darkened office and was invited to sit in a high backed chair facing Muttley’s desk, but set back exactly ten feet away. The chair, inspired by art nouveau concepts, was made of metal with a curious curved back which made it difficult for the person sitting in it to sit comfortably or with any degree of elegance.  Harrison decided to perch on the front section of the seat and put up with the discomfort.

“Well, good morning James.  Do the names Friedrich Miescher, Francis Crick or James D. Watson mean anything to you?  If I was to  tell you that polymerases are enzymes that synthesize polynucleotide chains from nucleoside triphosphates,  would you find that inordinately fascinating or even know what I was talking about?”  Matt Muttley sat back in his chair and put his hands behind his neck, his expression expectant.

“I do not know the people you mention.  I am certainly not dealing with their files at present.   And I would have to say that I would not find the information you have given me on polymerases of any immediate interest, simply because I have no idea what they are and they are not germane to any of the files I am working on currently.”

“If I was to say….. Deoxyribonucleic acid… would this assist you in your thinking….? thinking in relation to a personal matter which has been drawn to my attention by our covert surveillance unit headed by Dr Erasmus Strangelove, our esteemed Director of Education and Strategic Information.

James Harrison paused before answering, glanced upwards, noticed a discreet cctv camera pointing straight at him and answered “You are talking about DNA, but how is that relevant to my work here?”

“Spot on James.  Let me tell you where I am coming from on this, to borrow from the well worn phrase used by James Caan on Dragon’s Den.  We routinely monitor the internet traffic of all members of the firm.  This is covered in clause 1441 of your employment contract. We chose 1441 as the clause for this as a bad joke to reflect our view that it was our ‘weapon of mass destruction’.  We issue iPads to all our employees not because we are philanthropists, but because we want you to work, work and work some more.  We want the first thing you reach for in the morning to be your iPad and the last thing you touch at night to be your iPad. I understand that Eversheds have taken a similar policy of issuing iPads to all their fee earners – but I rather suspect that their intentions are honourable, while ours are not.  This is covered in Clause 1441(d)(viii) of your contract of employment.  Dr Strangelove, during his routine sweep of Facebook accounts, noticed that a woman by the implausible name of Squirrelnutkin 4 wrote on your ‘Wall’.  This is what she wrote…”

Muttley flicked his fingers over his goldplated iPad – a gift from a company one of the Dragons had invested in, but not signed, fortunately,  by Frank Lampard on the back.

Muttley quoted: “Hello Bigboy Jimmy Babes…. Have I got NEWS for you!  You remember that night of erotic passion and entirely random sex we had after you took me to that nightclub?  Well…. I am pregnant…. seriously pregnant….and it is yours!!  I hope you are earning a lot of money at that crazy law firm you are working at… because Jimmy Babes… you are going to need it.  I have engaged the services of JAWS, one of the most famous family lawyers in Britain… and, boy… is he coming after you… big time.!”

The colour drained from Harrison’s face and his forehead went clammy.

“A glass of water, James?”  Muttley asked, a dry smile playing on his lips.

“Er… no… not thank you Mr Muttley”

“We look after our staff at Muttley Dastardly.  We also look after ex-staff.  Clearly, it cannot be acceptable for a firm of our stature and reputation to employ lawyers who randomly impregnate people, and even if you are found ‘not guilty’ as we say in our business, we certainly can’t employ someone who goes around on Facebook calling himself BigBoy Jimmy Babes. Do you watch the Dragon’s Den, James?”

“No… I don’t have time.”

“But you do watch The Apprentice. We know this from your internet traffic records.  Well…as SurAlan, now Lord SurAlan, would say… You’re Fired!  Eva Braun will give you a black bag with your belongings, your severance pay and the telephone number of Cellmark – the DNA testing specialists.  We use them all the time here… for our clients.  We didn’t imagine having to use them for one of our staff…. or, indeed, ex-staff.”

Harrison stared at Matt Muttley, puzzlement clear in his eyes… “You mean I’m out?”

Muttley smiled.  “Yes… you’re OUT!  Goodbye.  Oh….do look at the section on the Cellmark website What is the process for DNA testing – a most useful video. The baby, after all, may not be yours. We would, of course, be happy to represent you if you fight.  I regret that we do not do discounts for anyone – although Partners get all our services free. ”

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PODCAST VERSION: MUTTLEY DASTARDLY LLP – EPISODE 1

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With thanks to Inksters Solicitors ,
Cellmark, OnlineWill.co.uk, BPP University College, David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Wildy & Sons, Camps Solicitors accident claims

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