The Law Society has asked Bristol Law Society to alert members to the fact that the deadline for PII renewals expired on 30th September. Firms who have not obtained insurance will now be subject to the provisions of the Extended Indemnity Period (EIP) and Cessation Period. This provides firms with 90 days to either to obtain insurance or to make arrangements to shut down or merge.
We understand that it is too early to give a precise figure for the number of firms that have not yet obtained PII. Firms are required to notify the SRA within five working days of the expiry date if they have not obtained insurance. However, initial indications suggest that the number may well be in the hundreds.
The Law Society has asked us to note that solicitors who have been unable to find insurance can consider the following resources for advice:
- Contact the Law Society’s PII helpline – 020 7320 9545 – which will have the most up to date information and advice;
- Consult the Law Society’s guides on PII – http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/regulation/pii/guides/;
- See the Law Society’s advice on the EIP and what it means – http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/articles/extended-indemnity-period/;
- Explore the option of Chancery Pii, which is a managing general agency that has been created to provide primary layer PII cover for solicitors’ firms in England and Wales with 1-4 partners. Chancery Pii places insurance with a panel of participating insurers. Each insurer has a financial strength rating of at least A- (Standard and Poor’s) or equivalent and each takes an agreed percentage share of the liability/premium for a policy. More information is available at www.lawsociety.org.uk/chancerypii
- In respect of advice about planning for closure/merger, the Society provides:
- A closing down practice note –http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/practice-notes/closing-down-your-practice/ and webinar available at the CPD Centre for £35 – http://cpdcentre.lawsociety.org.uk/course/5497/closing-down-your-practice
- A retirement calculator http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/articles/pii-retirement-calculator/
- Explanation of Run-off Cover and Costs –http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/articles/run-off-cover/
- Pastoral support from LawCare.
Further information from the Law Society can be found online at http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/communities/small-firms-division/articles/professional-indemnity-insurance-renewal-situation-october-2013/