Invalid SIF comparison

I read with interest Emile Woolf's article on chartered accountants' response to the requirement for professional indemnity insurance (The Lawyer, 17 February), and note that he is described as chairman of the Personal Injury Requirements Committee.

I chaired the committee (then known as the Practice Insurance Requirements Committee but a succession of claims does sometimes provoke a physical response!), at the time when the Approved Insurers Scheme was introduced and am currently a director of SIF.

Direct comparisons between the requirements of the solicitors' profession and chartered accountants are of limited validity. In particular, the chartered accountants were not faced with an existing mutual with a large deficit which will have to be met, whatever provision is made for the future.

Some of the comments made within the profession appear to overlook this, as well as the fact that it is in the nature of insurance that those with good claims records inevitably subsidise those with bad. Only the degree to which this occurs is in issue and this is being actively addressed by SIF through the introduction of risk banding.

Tim Lawrence

Solicitors Indemnity Fund