Removing the ARP accentuates the need for firms to reduce their risk profiles. Consistently followed supervision structures will prevent ‘rogue fee-earners’ from damaging a firm’s reputation and reducing the quality of service provided to clients.
Firms that see the ARP as a safety net that they may need one day should take a moment to reflect and get their house in order before they fall foul of the insurers. There is no reason why a well-managed firm should be unable to obtain qualifying insurance if insurers operate in an open manner.
My concern with scrapping the ARP is that new firms struggling to make their mark on the market are unable to prove that they will operate at low risk. In all insurance markets those with no history pay dearly for their cover. If the ARP is not available, the SRA should be looking at a solution to enable new firms to gain an insurance track record and prove they can operate at low risk.
If the SRA has already made up its mind then it needs to work with the insurers to make the process of professional indemnity insurance as transparent and fair as possible and develop an alternative system that will encourage new firms to enter the market.
Matt Rowley, LBS Legal, Shipley, West Yorkshire