How to protect your law firm against negligence

Running a law firm can be fast paced, exciting and incredibly rewarding when you win a case that changes a client’s life for the better. 

But what about some of the more challenging aspects? Dealing with negligence claims can be tricky, time consuming and stressful for both you and your clients. 

That’s why we’ve put together a few top tips on how to protect your law firm against negligence claims, wherever possible, in the future.

Informing your clients of potential risks

Managing expectations for your clients is fundamental when it comes to helping them to understand exactly what you can and can’t offer. While you can offer your help and guidance, you can’t promise a winning case every time and this should be made clear to clients from the beginning – there are no guarantees. 

Reiterating this to your clients and having honest conversations throughout ongoing cases will help to minimise claims that stem from expecting an unrealistic outcome that should have been addressed earlier in the proceedings.

Investing in personal indemnity insurance

Sometimes, the responsibility of having such pressure on your shoulders as a solicitor brings a risk of being held accountable if advice followed by your client leads to financial loss. 

Mistakes happen and sometimes unforeseen circumstances crop up that are simply out of your control. If the worst happens and a negligence claim is made against you that is successful, having the right kind of insurance will help you pay the compensation to the relevant party without causing you too many financial problems. 

As a professional who practices law, it is not only compulsory to have professional indemnity insurance but vital to protect you and your clients.

Checking for errors

Simple human errors can occur at any level within any role of a business. But when drafting official documentation, there is a high amount of pressure on solicitors to get this right without fail. 

Drafting errors are a common avenue that can often lead to negligence claims. If a clause in a contract is missed out, or a guarantee is included that was not part of an original deal, you may be leaving yourself open to potential negligence claims from clients entirely by accident. 

Having a professional legal proofreader or secretarial clerk go over all your paperwork with a fine-tooth comb can help to prevent such errors from getting to the client.