The Latvian liquidator of indemnity insurer Balva has appointed a London-based firm to manage its claims.
A statement from the Solicitors Regulation Authority said any Balva claims enquiries and notifications should be made to Caytons Law, based in the Square Mile.
On 17 June, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) withdrew all operating licences issued to Balva and a liquidator was appointed to commence winding-up proceedings. Balva’s licence to write new business in the UK was suspended on 16 April.
Around 1,300 law firms signed up with Balva in 2012 – many of them on two-year deals – for indemnity insurance. Balva customers were set to transfer to Berliner after the FCMC's decision in June, only for Berliner to subsequently withdraw from the market.
The SRA’s current understanding is that the liquidator is preparing a report for submission to the FCMC and that Balva remains solvent.
A spokesman for Caytons Law told the Gazette: ‘Balva have authorised us to handle all solicitors professional indemnity claims underwritten by them.
‘This means that, following weeks of uncertainty, policyholders and panel solicitors now have a point of contact to refer any queries that they may have and obtain any instructions.’
Meanwhile, the SRA has warned firms that have not declared their insurance position they are breaching regulations and face enforcement action.
Firms had until the close of play on Wednesday 6 November to inform the SRA if they were entering the second section of the new extended policy period (EPP), having failed to secure new professional indemnity insurance cover.
A total of 79 firms got in touch, but with 238 firms originally saying they wished to invoke the EPP and only 108 having since secured cover, a large number are still unaccounted for.
Agnieszka Scott, director for policy and financial protection at the SRA, said: ‘So far we have shown a lot of understanding towards firms that have been late in letting us know their insurance position, but now, more than a month later, there really is no excuse.
‘It is a requirement in the regulations that firms inform us of their situation and from now on, we will have to think about appropriate enforcement action for those that fail to contact us.
‘What these firms need to remember is that if they failed to secure a new policy by 1 October, they automatically qualified for the extended policy period and are therefore still practising with insurance. They won’t be automatically closed down if they tell us they don’t have a new insurer yet, but they are in breach of the insurance regulations by not contacting us.’