The Law Mutual (WA) Risk Management Programme 2020/2021 has been developed to focus on the needs of different categories of practitioners and law practices, prioritising topics identified in claims, risk profiling and feedback from the 2019/2020 programme.

There is no requirement to attend a Law Mutual (WA) risk management seminar. However, law practices will be able to obtain a 5% discount on their total Annual Contribution Amount for the 2021/2022 insurance year, if 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 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021, subject to certain requirements of declaration and documentary evidence of attendance being produced upon request.

Out of Practice – The Risks of Straying Outside Your Usual Area of Work

Speaker:
Ashley Macknay, MDS Legal

When:
Tuesday, 2 February 2021 | 4.00pm – 5.00pm

We all know that we are generally safest working in areas that we practise in day to day. However, that does not necessarily protect us from the increased risk of a claim for professional liability that comes when we move into unfamiliar territory.

It is generally easy enough to avoid the obvious trap of taking on instructions in an area in which we have no experience although, for various reasons, such as a request from a long-standing and substantial client, even they can sometimes be difficult to resist.

However, what can be more difficult to spot, and avoid, is the risk that comes from the seemingly straight forward instruction in a familiar area that draws us into unchartered and dangerous territory.

A recent analysis of Law Mutual (WA) claims has identified that even experienced practitioners can find themselves the subject of a claim because, despite starting in a familiar practice area, the instructions led to unfamiliar issues, with unwanted consequences for both them and their client.
This seminar reviews the types of circumstances in which claims can arise, often as a result of instructions leading to issues which were not initially foreseen. It will also provide participants with examples of claims and practical advice on what might be done to mitigate and manage the risk of a claim arising.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Accountability, Responsibility and Authority – it’s all about the limits!

Speaker:
Sean Popperwell, Popperwell & Co Lawyers

When:
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 | 9.00am – 10.00am OR
Tuesday, 9 February 2021 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Do you play an active role in managing your Practice? Do you have a clear structure of responsibility, accountability and authority within your practice?

Having defined limits of authority for the conduct of a legal matter that are linked to a practitioners capability, can help to protect your practice avoid potential liability claims.

This seminar will examine some recent examples of where an inadequate structure of responsibility, accountability and authority within the practice has led to claims.

Please Note: This seminar is designed for Principles and Directors, but should also be of interest to Sole Practitioners who employ support staff.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Cyber Security for Legal Practices – A Risk Management Approach

Speaker:
Carolyn Moss, Francis Burt Chambers
Cameron Hay, MYR Consulting
Vicki Coles, Manager Risk, Law Mutual (WA)

When:
Tuesday, 17 November 2020 | 9.00am – 11.00am OR
Tuesday, 9 February 2021 | 9.00am – 11.00am OR
Wednesday, 24 February 2021 | 3.00pm – 5.00pm

Cyber crime related claims are becoming a weekly occurrence across the legal profession in Australia. Legal practices are attractive targets for cyber criminals because they hold sensitive client information and act on high value transactions.

While many practitioners believe that cyber crime is purely a technology risk, this is not just an IT issue. It is a matter for every practitioner to understand and take steps to prevent.
Failure to implement appropriate processes and provide all staff with appropriate training, are critical factors in cyber claims impacting practitioners.

This session will look at the various ways cyber criminals are targeting practitioners, discuss recent claims, outline the steps you can take to prevent cyber-attacks and provide an overview of the resources available to practitioners.

Attendance at the webinar provides 2 CPD points in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 2 hours of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Focusing on information and communication – getting it right in the delivery stage

Speaker:
Deborah Templeman, Gilchrist Connell

When:
Tuesday, 16 February 2021 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Risks can arise throughout the solicitor-client engagement and in a variety of ways. Having a clear n strategy in place throughout the matter and good communication can ensure that the client and the practitioner are well informed of decisions, actions and changing circumstances relating to the matter.

This seminar will focus on the risks associated with not having a clear communication strategy in place, failing to undertake further investigation to gather relevant facts and failing to conduct appropriate legal research of the most relevant and current references.

The session will build on the concepts discussed in the Client Engagement Agreement – Planning for Success seminar and examine some recent examples of where inadequate fact gathering, legal research or communication of strategy has led to claims, whilst providing some practical risk management controls to avoid them.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Matter Management Guidelines – All Phases & Close Out

Speaker:
Cameron Hay, MYR Consulting
Vicki Coles, Manager Risk, Law Mutual (WA)

When:
Friday, 26 February 2021 | 9.00am – 11.00am

The fourth seminar in the Law Mutual (WA) series introducing the Guidelines will focus on issues that may arise during all phases of the Matter Management Guidelines. The Guidelines were developed in 2017 and set out the requirements for management of practices and matters with an emphasis on mitigating professional liability risks.

Whether you are a sole practice or large law firm, this seminar focuses on the general characteristics and requirements for effectively providing legal services and avoiding potential liability claims.

The seminar will address the requirements in further detail, and take participants through examples to assist with implementation. This seminar is relevant to all principals but should also be of interest to all practitioners.

Please Note: Practitioners seeking to attend this seminar must have attended the Introduction to Practice and Matter Management Guidelines seminar.

Attendance at the webinar provides 2 CPD points in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 2 hours of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Professional liability risks and controls in Litigation

Speaker:
JC van der Walt, Jackson McDonald

When:
Tuesday, 24 November 2020 | 4.00pm – 5.00pm OR
Tuesday, 23 February 2021 | 4.00pm – 5.00pm

Litigation handling is fraught with the potential for professional liability claims to be made against practitioners. Defective pleadings, missed limitation periods, communication failures between the client and practitioner, and conduct errors account for a significant proportion of the allegations made against practitioners.

This seminar will consider where and how things have gone wrong in litigation handling and provide tips on good practice to avoid potential liability claims.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Introduction to Risk Management for New Practitioners

Speaker:
Vicki Coles, Manager Risk, Law Mutual (WA)

When:
Wednesday, 3 February 2021 | 4.00pm – 5.00pm

Essential for practitioners who have been admitted for less than 12 months, are new to private practice after a period working in-house, or are returning to practice after an extended career break. Faced with a number of other adjustments at the beginning of their legal career or after an extended absence, new and returning practitioners rarely take the time to think about risk management. Effective risk management is a critical practice management skill that requires training and development. Ensuring that risk management strategies are in place and complied with can reduce the occurrence of professional liability claims. To equip practitioners with vital risk management skills, Law Mutual (WA) has developed a targeted seminar providing an overview of the professional liability claims history.

Please Note: This seminar is designed for Practitioners less than 12 months admitted.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Peer review of senior lawyers and partners – getting the balance right

Speaker:
Cameron Hay, MYR Consulting
Vicki Coles, Manager Risk, Law Mutual (WA)

When:
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 | 9.00am – 10.00am OR
Thursday, 25 February 2021 | 9am to 10am

Peer review is about balance: On the one hand, each year in Western Australia multiple claims arise due to mistakes made by senior lawyers and partners that would likely have been picked up by peer review. On the other hand, done poorly, peer review can become a drain on a law practice’s most valuable resource – senior lawyers’ time. This seminar looks at ways for your practice to get this balance right, along with some of recent claims.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Focusing on information and communication – getting it right in the delivery stage

Speaker:
Deborah Templeman, Gilchrist Connell

When:
Wednesday, 21 October 2020| 4pm to 5pm OR
Tuesday, 16 February 2021 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Risks can arise throughout the solicitor-client engagement and in a variety of ways. Having a clear n strategy in place throughout the matter and good communication can ensure that the client and the practitioner are well informed of decisions, actions and changing circumstances relating to the matter.

This seminar will focus on the risks associated with not having a clear communication strategy in place, failing to undertake further investigation to gather relevant facts and failing to conduct appropriate legal research of the most relevant and current references.

The session will build on the concepts discussed in the Client Engagement Agreement – Planning for Success seminar and examine some recent examples of where inadequate fact gathering, legal research or communication of strategy has led to claims, whilst providing some practical risk management controls to avoid them.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

I think I’ve stuffed up; what should I do?

Speaker:
Verginia Serdev-Patterson, Law Mutual (WA)

When:
Tuesday, 24 November 2021 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm OR
Monday, 8 February 2021 | 1.00 pm – 2.00pm

  • What do I tell my client?
  • When do I get the insurer involved?
  • Should I continue to act?
  • Should I release my file?

Verginia Serdev-Patterson, Claims Manager – Law Mutual (WA) will provide an overview of the practical steps to successfully navigate a lawyer’s duties to the client and the insurer, and to minimise the risk and exposure to a professional negligence claim.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Managing Client Expectations – Business as usual or need for a reset?

Speaker:
Ronwyn North, Streeton Consulting

When:
Thursday, 5 November 2020 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm OR
Wednesday, 3 February 2021 | 9.00am – 10.00am

Identifying and dealing with unrealistic client expectations should be part of business as usual. However, COVID19 and other pressures on legal practice may mean that current approaches need a refresh. This session will look at the ways you can review and if necessary, adapt your approach to the new normal.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Getting off risk effectively

Speaker:
Ronwyn North, Streeton Consulting

When:
Thursday, 19 November 2020 | 9.00am – 10.00am OR
Wednesday,17 February 2021 | 1.00pm to 2.00 pm

Some client engagements end well, some end badly, some seem never ending and still others end and get resurrected.

This session will look at the surprising variety of end of matter and file closure risks that have led to professional liability claims. It will also provide an overview of the strategies and controls that when implemented, can mitigate, and manage the risk of a claim arising.

Attendance at the webinar provides 1 CPD point in Competency Area 1 – Practice Management and 1 hour of Law Mutual Risk Management Training.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of the seminars?

If you are a Law Mutual (WA) insured practitioner, you are entitled to attend free or subsidised risk management seminars to a total of two hours. If you attend any additional seminars in excess of the free or subsidised risk management two hours you will be required to pay the member, non-member rate, depending on the seminar you attend and your Law Society membership status.

Your firm may also be entitled to a Risk Management Discount on its Annual Contribution for insurance if sufficient numbers of its practitioners attend seminars.

Can I attend any seminar, regardless of my law firms category?

The seminars are targeted at priority risk management areas, firms and practitioners. Priority is given to the targeted practices, however, if the seminar is not fully booked by targeted practitioners, we may release places to other practitioners. Some seminars are only available to certain categories of practitioners. Please register your interest by email to cpd@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

How do I register to attend a Risk Management seminar?

Please return your signed registration form to the Law Society. We need to confirm practitioners are registered for suitable seminars, as we are unable to facilitate this online. Registrations are manually entered.

I sent through my registration, do I get confirmation?

Yes, an automatic email confirmation will be sent to the email address we have on record once registration has been processed.

I am not insured with Law Mutual (WA)?

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 fully booked.

Law Mutual (WA) Insureds will be given priority enrolment in seminars.

Can a Law Society member who is not insured with Law Mutual attend Risk Management seminars?

You can still attend the Risk Management seminars but you will have to pay non-subsidised rates. Law Mutual (WA) Insureds will be given priority enrolment in seminars.

When do I need to complete my training to qualify for the Risk Management Discount?

To qualify for the Risk Management Discount for the 2021/22 insurance year all pracititioner directors and at least 80% of the employed practitioners of the law practice must have attended at least two hours of Law Mutual (WA) approved risk management training in the period 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021.

How do I access my Risk Management and CPD Attendance Records?

To make it easy for you and take the worry out of maintaining your CPD and Risk Management training Records, you can print out or download a record of all your attendance from our website. This easy process means we will no longer be sending out individual certificates per seminar. Instead, you will be able to access your Risk Management and CPD Points record through the Law Society Membership Portal (https://members.lawsocietywa.asn.au/)

This record is considered your Proof of Attendance for Risk Management and CPD Compliance.

Follow the below instructions to access your Risk Management and CPD Points:

  • Login with your ID Number*
  • Once you have logged in, please click on CPD Points
  • This will offer you a Proof of Attendance document outlining all of your Risk Management and CPD Points gained through the Law Society. You may also record CPD Points gained through other providers.
  • You may print out your Proof of Attendance for your reference.

*If you do need to find your ID Number or password, please contact the CPD Team via cpd@lawsocietywa.asn.au.