Law Mutual (WA) was established by the Law Society to administer the professional indemnity insurance arrangements (the PII arrangements).
The major functions of Law Mutual (WA) are to:
- obtain competitively priced insurance coverage for Western Australian law practices and practitioners
- implement risk management strategies to reduce the instances of claims
- establish an efficient claims management service
CLAIMS & NOTIFICATIONS
The PII arrangement is governed by the Act and the Legal Profession Uniform Law. The coverage provided by the PII arrangement is set out in the annual Master Policy.
Annual Contributions (commonly referred to as premiums) can be paid by EFT, cheque, credit card or premium funding. The Act requires law practices to pay their Annual Contribution and any administration levy by 15 May preceding the commencement of the Insurance Year (Section 158).
Claims and Notifications
Law Mutual manages claims against an insured law practice or practitioners in accordance with its Claims Management Policy.
As stated in the Policy, Law Mutual’s aim in managing claims is to:
- ensure that insureds are financially protected and able to continue to offer legal services; and
- compensate the consumers of legal services for loss caused by its insured professional negligence.
An insured can notify Law Mutual of a claim or circumstances that might give rise to a claim by downloading and submitting a Notify us of a Claim form. Law Mutual’s objective is to ensure any notification is handled as swiftly and efficiently as possible to avoid further distress. For more information, please call us on (08) 9481 3111.
Insured practitioners have complimentary access to the Ethical Guidance Panel. The Panel provides practitioners with access to experienced colleagues who have indicated their willingness to be available to confidentially discuss professional conduct and ethical issues. This includes providing advice regarding conflict of interest issues where circumstances exist that may give rise to a claim.
It is well established that good risk management will lower claims costs, increase the quality of legal services and enhance the legal profession’s reputation.
Therefore, the underwriters of the Law Mutual (WA) insurance arrangements take into account the standard and quality of risk management training undertaken by practitioners.
Law Mutual’s risk management mandate is stated in its Risk Management Policy (for insureds). The mandate is to assist insureds to manage the risk of professional liability in the provision of legal services.
Law Mutual offers a range of risk management seminars. The Risk Management seminars are developed to focus on the needs of different categories of practitioners and law practices, whilst prioritising topics from the Practice and Matter Management Guidelines and reflecting issues identified in claims and risk profiling.
Practitioners are not required to attend a Law Mutual risk management seminar. However, law practices will be able to obtain a 5% discount on their base Annual Contribution Amount for the following insurance year if all of the Principals (partners or legal practitioner directors) and at least 80% of the employed practitioners of the law practice have attended at least two (2) hours of Law Mutual approved risk management training in the period 1 March to 28 February, subject to documentary evidence of attendance being produced upon request.
Law Mutual (WA) also provides tools and resources such as the Risk Control Map and Practice Management and Matter Management Guidelines to assist practitioners.