Norton Rose to advise on solicitor insurance

Norton Rose has been appointed by the Law Society to advise on a new solicitors insurance scheme. The firm will look at legal issues underpinning the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF), which the Law Society plans to scrap next year.

The City firm won a Law Society beauty parade for the lucrative work.

James Bateson, a partner in Norton Rose's insurance group, will lead a team of eight lawyers, including head of insurance litigation Francis Mackie and head of competition Martin Coleman. Assistant Joanna Marshall is heading up on public international law advice.

The Norton Rose team will look at a whole range of complex insurance-related legal issues, say insiders.

In May, solicitors voted to end SIF's monopoly on solicitor's insurance. In a profession-wide ballot, more than 70 per cent of solicitors voted for a choice to buy insurance on the open market.

As a result of the vote, the Law Society set up a task force to review the system and make recommendations. Michael Mathews, Clifford Chance partner and former Law Society president, heads the task force which reports to the Law Society's council. The result of the consultation process is due to be voted on in April.

A Law Society spokesman says: “Norton Rose are the legal advisers appointed to advise about the details of the new system. We are just working out the details at the moment.”