Excess coverage: Do I share exposure for the work of others outside the firm?
The following are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself to help assess whether or not you should secure additional insurance coverage limits.
When reviewing these questions and assessing your exposure, remember to factor in both potential defence costs and interest payments, as well as actual damages. Depending on how long it takes to discover an error and resolve the claim, and the impact of costs, the value of the claim could be inflated by 50 to 100 per cent, or more.
Consider the law practices of others, including those of your associates, co-tenants, and others with whom you may share space or resources. Also consider subcontracted or supervisory counsel, any previous or co-counsel on files, ‘of counsel’ and backup counsel for your practice, as well as those who are or have been otherwise affiliated with your practice or services.
- Am I satisfied that the letterhead, office signage, reception and telephone, fax, website, blog, advertisement and promotional materials, of both my practice and any practice that is or has been affiliated with it, consistently and clearly communicate the nature of the relationship of my practice to that of others?
- Have my retainer agreements, invoicing and billing arrangements with clients consistently and clearly communicated the nature of the relationship of my practice to that of others?
- Consider LOCUM work, whether by me or others in my firm or former firm on behalf of others, or by others on my behalf or firm members’ behalf. Was it clear to clients and others that the work was being done as LOCUM work? What type of file work was involved? Are these files available in the event of a claim?