It is well established that good risk management will lower claims costs, increase the quality of legal services.
In addition to the frequency and magnitude of claims and notifications in setting the premium for the Master Policy the underwriters of the Law Mutual (WA) insurance arrangements take into account the standard and quality of risk management training undertaken by practitioners.
Risk Management Seminars
Law Mutual (WA) offers a range of Risk Management seminars. The Risk Management Seminars 2023/2024 have been 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.
If you have any Risk Management queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Risk Management Information
The Risk and Control Map sets out the key professional liability risks facing law firms, along with measures for reducing them. It was introduced to Law Mutual (WA) members during the 2015 Risk Management Seminars.
Please note that the contents of the Risk and Control Map are a guide only. It does not purport to contain all the risks and controls that may be relevant to a practice. Practitioners should consider the particular circumstances of their practice when determining the risks and controls that are relevant to them. The Map may be updated from time to time by Law Mutual (WA).
The Map may display differently and have different functionality depending on the internet browser you use. If you are unable to download it, contact Law Mutual (WA) on (08) 9324 8623 and we will endeavour to email you a useable PDF.
Law Mutual (WA) has developed the Practice Management and Matter Management Guidelines to provide a structured view of what it considers to be the requirements for good practice and matter management, with a focus on professional liability risk management.
The Guidelines also provide details of potential processes or activities (referred to as ‘Controls’) to meet each of the requirements; however, the appropriate Controls will vary from practice to practice.
Meeting the requirements is evidence of your commitment to good professional liability risk management and should also result in:
- Comprehensive service delivery for the client
- High level of client satisfaction
- Lower likelihood of complaints and/or claims.
Implementing the Guidelines in your Practice
To assist practices in implementing the Guidelines in their practice, Law Mutual (WA) has developed Assistance documents and critical Control Toolkits that relate to all phases of Matter Management.
The Assistance documents are intended to highlight professional indemnity risk management issues. This will assist practices in identifying and analysing the potential control gaps (absence of necessary activities) within the practice.
The Toolkits are intended to be used as a guide for practices to assess if there are adequate procedures adopted by the practice to mitigate the risks and if the procedures cover all the potential issues. The Toolkits are designed to be adapted by practices to suite their individual requirements and processes.
Screening Assistance has been developed to assist practices to identify and analyse the potential control gaps during the screening phase. It provides general guidance on screening the prospective client and matter in order to reach an in principle decision to accept or decline the client’s request to act on their behalf in the conduct of the legal matter.
Establishing effective client screening techniques is one of the most important ways to reduce the risk of professional liability claims.
Screening involves a number of distinct steps, some of which may be taken concurrently. Law Mutual (WA) has developed some Toolkits to assist practices meet a number of the screening requirements as follows:
- Confirm identity and authority
- Check for conflict of interest
- Decide to accept or reject client and matter
Engaging Assistance has been developed to provide further insights as to how the practice and its clients can achieve shared understanding and binding agreement on scope, costs & fees and services.
It outlines how to gauge the client’s capacity and objectives. Once these are established it details how the practice can provide options, scope and cost the work and enter into a binding client engagement agreement.
As part of confirming capacity of the client, it references the Law Society’s guide “When a Client’s Capacity is in Doubt”.
It also provides a link to the Law Society’s template Client Engagement Agreement which can be used to ensure a binding agreement is achieved.
Providing Assistance has been developed to assist a practice in delivering services to professional standards while ensuring a client’s satidsfaction.it references the use of the following Toolkits as part of delivery:
Completing Assistance helps a practice in confirming that a matter has been completed in accordance with legal requirements and a client’s instructions.
It provides a link to the Law Society’s Ethical & Practice Guidelines 2019 to be reviewed when a practice is considering terminating its services.
It also references the use of the Contemporaneous Notes Toolkit when a practice is answering post completion enquires.
All Phases Assistance provides details around the activities undertaken during all phases of a matter. IAs part of this, the following Toolkits are referenced:
Law practices are be able to obtain a 5% discount (the Risk Management Discount) on their base Annual Contribution for the following Insurance year, if they have fulfilled the following requirements:
- all of the Partners or Practitioner Directors and at least 80% of the employed Practitioners of the Law Practice have attended at least two (2) hours of Law Mutual (WA) approved risk management training in the period 1st March to 28th February in the year prior to the insurance year in which the discount is being applied. For example, the Risk Management Discount can be applied in the 2023/2024 insurance year if the Practitioner Directors and employed Practitioners attended the required amount of training during the previous 2022/2023 training period.
- The law practice is able to produce, within 7 days of a written request by Law Mutual (WA), documentary proof that it has met the training requirements, such as certificates of the attendance of Practitioners at approved training.
- The law practice must agree that if such documentary proof is not produced to the satisfaction of Law Mutual (WA), the law practice will immediately repay to Law Mutual (WA) the equivalent of the Risk Management Discount it received together with the GST payable thereon. Further, the law practice will not again be entitled to a Risk Management Discount until it has completed two consecutive years of training requirements.
The approved training for the purpose of the Risk Management Discount is set out below:
- Risk management seminars held by Law Mutual (WA).
- Select CPD seminars held by the Law Society of Western Australia.
- External training courses or in-house training approved by Law Mutual (WA). Please submit the Risk Management Training Approval Form for the purposes of the risk management discount.
Please contact Law Mutual (WA) for details of the approval process.
Law Mutual (WA) recognises the importance of implementing effective risk management systems by providing a discount to Quality Practice Standard accredited Law Practices.
In addition to its seminars, Law Mutual provides risk management tools, and risk management advices and alerts to insured practitioners on this website.
The website materials are supplemented by a risk management advisory service for insured law practices.
Please email us to discuss your requirements. Law Mutual (WA) may be able to arrange in-house delivery of a seminar, depending on your number of practitioners and the availability of presenters.
There is a charge for this service.
This seminar is not targeted to you. However, if the seminar is not fully booked by targeted practitioners, we may release places to other practitioners. Please register your interest by email.
To make it easy for you and take the worry out of maintaining your CPD and Risk Management training Records, you can print out or download a record of all your attendance from our website. This easy process means we will no longer be sending out individual certificates per seminar. Instead, you will be able to access your Risk Management and CPD Points record through the Law Society Website.
This record is considered your Proof of Attendance for Risk Management and CPD Compliance.
Follow the below instructions to access your Risk Management and CPD Points:
- login with your ID Number*
- once you have logged in, please click on CPD Points
- This will offer you a Proof of Attendance document outlining all of your Risk Management and CPD Points gained through the Law Society. You may also record CPD Points gained through other providers.
- You may print out your Proof of Attendance for your reference.
*If you do need to find your ID Number or password, please contact the CPD Team via email@example.com.
Law Mutual (WA) Insureds will be given priority enrolment in seminars. If you are not insured you will have to pay non-subsidised rates to attend Law Mutual (WA) seminars. However, at its sole discretion, Law Mutual (WA) may allow non-insured practitioners to attend at no charge or at a subsidised rate provided the seminar is not at capacity.
No, if you are a Law Mutual (WA) Insured you can attend the risk management seminars at no charge or a subsidised rate. If you choose to attend more than two hours of subsidised training, you will have to pay non-subsidised rates. Law Society members can attend additional training at member rates. Law Mutual (WA) Insureds who have completed less than two hours of training will be given priority enrolment in seminars.
If you have any Risk Management queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org