Risk Management

It is well established that good risk management will lower claims costs, increase the quality of legal services and enhance the legal profession’s reputation.

In addition to the frequency and magnitude of claims and notifications in setting the premium for the Master Policy the underwriters of the Law Mutual (WA) insurance arrangements take into account the standard and quality of risk management training undertaken by practitioners.

Law Mutual (WA) offers a range of Risk Management seminars for 2017/2018 insurance year that are focused on the needs of different categories of practitioners and Law Practices and various types of claims.

Please note that there is no requirement to attend a Law Mutual (WA) risk management seminar. However, your firm may be entitled to a discount on its Annual Contribution if you do.

Risk Management Discount

Law Practices will be able to obtain a 5% discount (the Risk Management Discount) on their total Contribution Amount from the 2017/2018 insurance year onwards, if they have fulfilled the following requirements for the discount.

  1. All of the Partners or Practitioner Directors and at least 80% of the employed Practitioners of the Law Practice have attended at least two (2) hours of Law Mutual (WA) approved risk management training in the period 1st March 2016 to 28th February 2017 (for the 2017/2018 insurance year).
  2. The Law Practice declares in its Application for Insurance that it has met the training requirements above and is entitled to the Risk Management Discount.
  3. The Law Practice is able to produce, within 7 days of a written request by Law Mutual (WA), documentary proof that it has met the training requirements, such as certificates of the attendance of Practitioners at approved training.
  4. The Law Practice must agree that if such documentary proof is not produced to the satisfaction of Law Mutual (WA), the Law Practice will immediately repay to Law Mutual (WA) the equivalent of the Risk Management Discount it received together with the GST payable thereon. Further, the Law Practice will not again be entitled to a Risk Management Discount until it has completed two consecutive years of training requirements.

The approved training for the purpose of the Risk Management Discount is set out below:

  • Risk management seminars held by Law Mutual (WA)
  • Select CPD seminars held by the Law Society of Western Australia
  • External training courses or in-house training approved by Law Mutual (WA). Please submit the Risk Management Training Approval Form for the purposes of the Law Mutual (WA) risk management discount.

Please contact Law Mutual (WA) for details of the approval process. Please note that the 2015/2016 annual risk management seminar is not approved training

QPS Discount

Law Mutual (WA) also recognises the importance of implementing effective risk management systems by providing a discount to Quality Practice Standard accredited Law Practices.

Other Risk Management Services

In addition to its seminars, Law Mutual (WA) also provides risk management tools, and risk management advices and alerts to insured practitioners on this website that will be continued and expanded.

The website tools will be supplemented by a risk management advisory service for insured practitioners that will be launched later this year.

Risk and Control Map

The Risk and Control Map sets out the key professional liability risks facing law firms, along with measures for reducing them. It was introduced to Law Mutual (WA) members during the 2015 Risk Management Seminars.

Please note that the contents of the Risk and Control Map are a guide only. It does not purport to contain all the risks and controls that may be relevant to a practice. Practitioners should consider the particular circumstances of their practice when determining the risks and controls that are relevant to them. The Map may be updated from time to time by Law Mutual (WA).

The Map may display differently and have different functionality depending on the internet browser you use. If you are unable to download it, contact Law Mutual (WA) on (08) 9324 8623 and we will endeavour to email you a useable PDF.

Practice Management and Matter Management Guidelines

Law Mutual (WA) has developed the Guidelines to provide a structured view of what it considers to be the requirements for good practice and matter management, with a focus on professional liability risk management.

Analysis of claims, risks and controls has indicated that a significant number of claims have resulted from an absence of particular activities such as:

  • Failure to screen or identify your client
  • Inadequate client engagement agreements
  • Failure to recognise conflicts
  • Failure to properly train or supervise employees

The Guidelines address the need for these and other activities in a structured way and rovide details of potential processes or activities to meet each of the requirements; however, the ‘appropriate activity’ will vary from practice to practice.

Law Mutual (WA) encourages practices to follow the Guidelines. Meeting the requirements is evidence of your commitment to good professional liability risk management and should also result in:

  • Comprehensive service delivery for the client
  • High level of client satisfaction
  • Lower likelihood of complaints and/or claims.

Practitioners are encouraged to attend the Introduction to Practice and Matter Management seminar as part of the 2017/2018 Risk Management Seminar Programme to obtain further information and insight into the content of the Guidelines and how to meet the requirements in their practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Registering for risk management seminars

Please return your completed registration form to the Law Society. Some seminars are specifically targeted at a segment of practitioners and as we are unable to facilitate this online, registrations are manually entered. A confirmation will be sent to the email address we have on record once registration has been processed. Please allow 3-4 business days for processing.

Can we have the seminar presented in our office (in-house)?

Please email us to discuss your requirements. Law Mutual (WA) may be able to arrange in-house delivery of a seminar, depending on your number of practitioners and availability of presenters. There is a charge for this service.

My firm has more than 10 practitioners; can I attend a seminar designed for 6-9 practitioners?

This seminar is not targeted to you. However, if the seminar is not fully booked by targeted practitioners, we may release places to other practitioners. Please register your interest by email.

Risk management seminars out of the Perth metro area

At present, seminars are only available face-to-face in Perth. We are investigating the development of online seminars.

Why are the risk management seminars free and compulsory anymore?

From the 2016/2017 insurance year, the risk management seminars are no longer compulsory. If you are a Law Mutual (WA) Insured, and are attending a seminar that is relevant to you, then you will either not be charged, or be charged at a subsidised rate, depending on which seminar you attend.

The seminars are now targeted at priority risk management areas, firms and practitioners. Your firm may be entitled to a risk management discount on its Annual Contribution for insurance (premium) if sufficient numbers of its practitioners attend seminars.

I am not insured with Law Mutual (WA)?

Law Mutual (WA) Insureds will be given priority enrolment in seminars. If you are not insured you will have to pay non-subsidised rates to attend Law Mutual (WA) seminars. However, at its sole discretion, Law Mutual (WA) may allow non-insured practitioners to attend at no charge or at a subsidised rate provided the seminar is not at capacity.

Do I need to be a Law Society member?

No, If you are a Law Mutual (WA) Insured you can attend the risk management seminars at no charge or a subsidised rate. If you choose to attend more than two hours of subsidised training you will have to pay non-subsidised rates. Law Society members can attend additional training at member rates. Law Society CPD Active members receive complimentary registration. Law Mutual (WA) Insureds who have completed less than two hours of training will be given priority enrolment in seminars.