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A syndicate of medium-sized firms from across the UK have launched a new type of audit and insurance scheme to protect clients from tribunal claims.
The Quality Law Group has created an employment protection package called Praesidium, whereby companies pay a fixed annual rate for services rather than paying for advice on a per-hour basis.
The alliance of firms includes Ward Hadaway of Newcastle; Anstey Sargent & Probert of Exeter; Argles & Court of Maidstone; Burstows of Crawley; Cuff Roberts of Liverpool; Mason & Co of Liverpool; Wright Johnston & Mackenzie of Glasgow and Stonehams in London.
Joe Thornhill, an employment partner at Ward Hadaway, says: "The package attempts as much as possible to minimise the risk of an employment claim. But if, heaven forbid, a claim should occur, it insures an employer against legal costs incurred in defending the claim and any compensation that the tribunals award."
It is the audit part of the package that makes the scheme different from any insurance-based schemes on the market, according to the authors.
If, after taking the firm's advice, the client is still the subject of a claim, the insurance part of the scheme will kick in.
The insurance is covered by an underwriter at Lloyd's of London.