The world of legal practice is beginning to show signs of change, since new rules and freedoms were introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2019.
The changes have seen 413 solicitors now choosing to work as freelancers and some others working for organisations not regulated by the SRA The new rules have allowed solicitors to be more agile and adaptable and 37% of those recently polled by the SRA have said that this has been helpful during the pandemic.
The SRA currently has some regulations in place as to the type of work that a freelance solicitor can handle, with restrictions on work including immigration and claims management. It says it will review these restrictions, in light of the new rules’ success to date.
If you are a solicitor is thinking about becoming a freelance practitioner, you should also be considering the insurances they may need. Given the nature of their work, a key consideration should be Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Such insurance is vital for any professional offering advice and consultancy, ensuring that any errors in judgement or inappropriate advice does not result in financial loss, if a client then sues for negligence or alleges incompetence.
Other insurance may be required for office premises or office equipment, depending how the freelance business operates. If work is conducted from home, the solicitor should talk to a broker to ensure their cover is adequate and there are no impacts on their home insurance’s validity.
Key covers to consider for the business might be computer equipment breakdown insurance and cyber insurance. With so much critical and financial data often held on solicitors’ systems, it is vital that cover is in place to protect against the impacts of breaches.
Buying the right level of cyber insurance is imperative, as not all policies will provide the access to professional IT expertise that might be required to fix an issue and identify how systems were breached. Additionally, not all cyber insurance policies will provide access to marketing experts who can help limit the reputational damage resulting from a cyber breach.
If working alone, having insurance protection often known as Key Man or Key Worker Insurance can also be highly advisable. Should you fall critically ill and be unable to work for some time, this cover can step in, to help you cope with income loss and employ or commission someone to cover you, until such time as you recover.
There may be other insurance covers that suit your business or which you may require. This includes Public Liability Insurance, if you meet with members of the public at your premises or theirs.
To construct the best insurance plan for your freelance solicitor practice, just get in touch, so we can help guide you through the options.