The Solicitors Regulation Authority will try again next week to contact firms who have not renewed indemnity insurance.
The regulator blamed ‘poor data’ for last month contacting 1,863 firms warning them there was no evidence of insurance being secured by the 1 October deadline.
The Gazette understands top 100 firms were among those who received the email, which warned that having entered the ‘cessation period’ they could not take on any new business.
Chief executive Paul Philip said the SRA has now reassessed the data and will contact firms next week outlining their status and future steps.
He vowed the organisation will not repeat its mistake when it contacts firms.
‘What should have happened is we should have questioned the data and gone through those numbers for credibility in relation to firms on the list,’ he said. ‘There were some that it would be incredible not to have PII.
‘An organisation like the SRA has lots of moving parts and you can’t say we won’t make mistakes. Hopefully we won’t make those mistakes too often – reputations are hard fought and easily lost. Tonally and in content it was inappropriate and it shouldn’t have happened.’
Firms entering the extended policy period have three months to secure insurance if they want to continue in business.
In 2013, just 175 firms entered the extended policy period. In total 136 firms had not renewed by the end of the three-months.
Philip accepted the way the SRA had dealt with this year’s uninsured firms may have harmed its reputation with smaller firms, just as it worked on new measures to improve its standing with this sector.
He said solicitors have been open with him about the SRA’s failings on visits to firms across the country, and this feedback has helped to form some of the new initiatives.
‘I am not trying to change it to people liking us,’ he added.
‘I would like more people than at present to say they feel as if we have listened to them, even if they disagree with us.’