Every practising firm has recently received the eighth annual report of the Solicitor's Indemnity Fund for the year ended 31 August 1995. This 26-page report is crammed with statistics and analyses. For instance, in the eight-year period to the 31 August 1995, paid claims amounted to £513.6 million, an average of £18,073 per case. And in the year ended 1995, claims paid amounted to £222.7 million.
What the report does not tell us is the amount paid out in respect of the largest claims settled. Nor does it give any indication of the type of negligence which resulted in claims being met.
Table 5 in the report discloses the distribution of claims by type of work. By far the highest percentage of claims related to conveyancing work at 46.81 per cent. The lowest was crime at 0.07 per cent.
The report would be much more useful to the profession if it concentrated rather more on giving examples of cases where claims have been made and subsequently met.
Solicitors would find it extremely interesting to read of a series of case studies from which we can all learn from others' experiences. Surely, the objective of the report is to avoid future claims.
I would personally rather see a whole series of case studies at the expense of some of the tables. Then, the report might be rather more widely read than it is now.
C J A Cope