Defence and coverage of solicitors’ professional indemnity cases is at the core of RCB’s knowledge and experience.
RCB is unusual for a City practice in that its personnel have gained broader experience in this area than comparable firms. We have successfully defended a variety of claims at trial. RCB has an enviable trial record over the last 12 years and we have also defended a number of unreported county court cases. We are, if so instructed, willing and able to take important points of principle through to a full trial or hearing.
RCB personnel have extensive experience in multi-party litigation from derivative and class actions to regulatory enquiries with parallel court proceedings against a number of parties. Cost management and protection in these cases is the firm’s speciality.
If proceedings are issued, then RCB will advise on the best commercial and cost-effective tactics to resolution. If a commercial resolution cannot be reached then we have considerable experience in advising on appropriate steps to obtain maximum cost protection, where applicable, whilst preparing for trial. We are also able to advise on, and have a proven track record in, taking appropriate steps to support an application for indemnity costs where cases are unnecessarily and unreasonably pursued to trial.
We advise Insurers on the complex questions of coverage and wording. In doing so we recognise that continuity is important in business relationships. Our Senior Member Partner, Steven Reynolds, is a member of The Law Society’s Professional Indemnity Committee which provides greater scope for us to consult and have an impact on proposed changes.
RCB will negotiate the commercial outcome desired by both parties. Our experience includes advising on:
- The scope and exclusion of insurance cover.
- Successor Practice issues.
- Additional Premium arising from run-off cover.
- Determination of when and if a run-off period has incepted.
- Aggregation and excess disputes.
- Underwriters’ remedies for Insured’s breach of policy terms, non-disclosure, late notification, dishonesty or fraudulent acts or omissions.
- The quality, suitability, assessment and drafting of Proposal Forms and Policy Wordings.
Our team’s strong knowledge and interpretation of the SRA MTCs of Professional Indemnity Insurance and commercial sense combine to provide cost effective and tactical advice to Insurers on the benefits or otherwise of pursuing coverage points.
Instructions from Excess Layer Insurers
We also accept instructions on behalf of excess layer insurers to protect their position and investigate the defence advanced by primary layer Insurers and the extent to which a claim may impact on their layer.
Solicitors Risk Management
RCB separately offers risk management advice to Insurers. The everchanging solicitors market means that there are new claims patterns continuously emerging. We advise Insurers on trends and triangulations to assist in assessment of profitability of solicitors’ books and forecast areas of potential claims and quote accordingly.
Solicitor to Solicitor TPA Work
The firm provides TPA assistance to a number of solicitor Insurer schemes. Historically our solicitors have all gained experience claims handling and we consider them to be solicitor adjusters which informs our ability to provide commercial advice for the early cost-effective settlement of claims. Find out more about our TPA offering here.
The following reported Solicitors cases provide a sample of our work:
- Axa Insurance Ltd (formerly Winterthur Swiss Insurance Co) v Akther & Darby Solicitors & Ors  EWHC 635 (Comm)
- Axa Insurance Ltd (formerly Winterthur Swiss Insurance Co) v Akther & Darby Solicitors & Ors  EWCA Civ 1166
- Ben O’Sullivan v Healys (A Firm) Ch D 14/10/10
- Rudyard Kipling Thorpe (litigation friend to Mrs Leonie Leanthie Hill) v Fellowes Solicitors LLP  EWHC 61 (QB)
- Maria Boyle v Thompsons Solicitors LLP  EWHC 36 (QB)
- David Frost v Wake Smith Tofields Solicitors  EWCA Civ 772
- Haskew v Wacks Caller & Ors  EWCA Civ 350
- Marshall v The Price Partnership Solicitors  EWHC 4256 (QB)
- Irene Elaine King v (1) David John King (2) Christine Theresa King (3) Mark Ellis  EWHC 2827 (Ch)
- Simon N Hodgson v Richard Wilson Solicitors Ltd  EWHC 2015 (TCC)
- Jackson v Thompsons Solicitors (A Firm) & Ors  EWHC 218 (QB)
- Jackson v Thompsons Solicitors (A Firm) & Ors  EWCA Civ 138
For more information, please contact Steven Reynolds, John Bradley.