Call for free market indemnity

The call to allow a free market in solicitors' indemnity insurance has been echoed by indemnity expert Clive Boxer of Davies Arnold Cooper, who told delegates at a conference on professional indemnity that it was time the Solicitors Indemnity Fund was changed.

Speaking at the conference, sponsored by Lloyds of London and DAC, he said only outside insurers could police standards in the professions by imposing higher premiums or refusing to insure practices which are not up to standard.

“The subscriptions lawyers pay to the SIF continue to rise, these costs are passed on to clients and the legal aid bill increases,” he said. He called for the competitive marketplace to be allowed into the SIF, with the fund retaining the power to impose compulsory insurance.

Last month the Law Society Council agreed to impose a supplementary levy on SIF following revelations of a £13 million shortfall in the fund.