Competition amongst the legal profession has never been fiercer. Lawyers are now not only competing within the profession for clientele, but also shielding attacks from non-traditional competitors such as accounting firms and overseas markets. Increasingly, existing and prospective clients are becoming value orientated, an incidental consequence to the ease in which knowledge is accessed and shared in today’s technological society.
Adding to these challenging times, the increasing administration requirements arising from regulation within the industry, backlogs within all levels of the judicial system, and varying expectations of the judiciary with respect to the weight of legal issues all generate costs for solicitors and barristers alike, and ultimately to the client. As a result of these market conditions, the industry is increasingly being scrutinised on legal fees, and as a flow on effect there has been a distinct increase in the frequency of Cost Disputes.
Defending a Cost Assessment is a stressful process for any lawyer. Firstly, there is the emotional agitation that a client who has been professionally serviced is commencing proceedings against you. Then there is the administration costs of retrieving archived files, reviewing file notes and agreements and preparing an itemised bill in assessable form. There is the loss of productivity cost, being pulled away from work in progress and revenue generating activities. And finally, there is the potential of direct financial loss, as Cost Assessors or Judges pick apart bills with unnerving scrutiny.
CostsCover provides solicitors and barristers with an insurance solution to mitigate the risk of losses associated with claims against professional fees. The product is built on the principle that lawyers and barristers are not intentionally or unnecessarily billing excessive costs. Rather, CostsCover provides a solution for practices to protect themselves against differing, subjective opinions as to what constitutes fair, reasonable and proportionate costs.
CostsCover will give lawyers and barristers the ability to outsource the defence and cost of responding to Cost Assessments, allowing an independent panel member to represent you while you continue to focus on managing your legal practice. And in the event of an adverse determination, your CostCover policy will respond to ease the financial burden of repaying those professional fees already received.
Key features of the cover:
- Defence costs from an independent solicitor
- Refund of client fees
- Independent Expert witness
- Nil excess for successfully defended claims
- Retroactive policy inception date
CostsCover is backed by XL Catlin, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. With an S&P rating of A+, XL Catlin provides a strong security to ensure claims are managed efficiently to minimise the disruption to your business.