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Reliance on the fact the firm is insured as a reason for not exercising discretion to relieve the firm from its liability for breach of trust under s.61.TA 1925 (paras 187-8 of the judgment) is the start of a slippery slope, because a small firm with a paid claim of this size might struggle to obtain insurance again. So in future cases it may be necessary to obtain expert evidence on insurance issues when seeking relief under s.61.

So far as an appeal is concerned, a concern must be the general unwillingness of courts to overturn the exercise of discretion on appeal. However, nothing in the judgment suggests that the judge heard any evidence on insurance issues, the self-insured excess, impact on renewal etc., though he could no doubt take judicial notice of the bare fact that all solicitors have insurance. Insurance only really provides cash flow: insurers are not a charity.

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