The Law Mutual (WA) Risk Management Programme 2019/2020 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 2018/2019 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 2020/2021 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 2019 to 28 February 2020, subject to certain requirements of declaration and documentary evidence of attendance being produced upon request.

Supervision & Delegation

Speaker:
Cathryn Urquhart, Professional Skills Trainer

When:
Wednesday, 22 May 2019 | 9:00am-11:00am OR
Wednesday, 24 July 2019 | 3:00pm-5:00pm

2 points, Competency 1, Practice Management 

Recent claims experience indicates that a significant cause of errors and omissions in delivery of legal services is inadequate supervision.

Delegation is essential in many firms to ensure the distribution of work amongst staff, to match complexity of the task with the skill of the lawyer and to lower the costs of service delivery. This maximises efficiency and profitability and enables practitioners to learn and improve their skills.

Effective supervision is fundamental to successful delegation and the overall success of the firm. Yet there is a significant variation in how partners and senior practitioners perceive their role in relation to supervision and a diverging view between how practitioners perceive the effectiveness of supervision in firms.

Improvement of supervision and delegation skills brings a full range of benefits from minimizing risks and avoiding claims to maximising the profitability of the firm, improved service to the client, staff satisfaction and staff retention.

This seminar will focus on working with practitioners to discuss the principles of effective delegation and supervision, to share experiences and ideas and to outline the fundamentals of effective supervision and how these might be practically undertaken.

Please Note: the seminar does not discuss the Legal Practice Boards requirements to meet relevant obligations under the Legal Profession Act 2008 in relation to supervision.

Matter Management Guidelines – Screening

Speaker:
Cameron Hay, MYR Consulting

When:
Wednesday, 5 June 2019 | 3:00pm-5:00pm OR
Wednesday, 7 August 2019 | 12:00pm-2:00pm

2 points, Competency 1, Practice Management 

The second seminar in the Law Mutual (WA) series introducing the Guidelines will focus on the screening phase 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 screening clients to effectively deliver legal services and avoid 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.

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

Speaker:
Ashley Macknay, MDS Legal

When:
Tuesday, 6 August 2019 | 9:00am-10:00am OR
Thursday, 6 February 2020 | 4:00pm-5:00pm

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

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.

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

Speaker:
Sean Popperwell, Popperwell & Co Lawyers

When:
Tuesday, 3 September 2019 | 9:00am-10:00am OR
Wednesday, 5 February 2020 | 1:00pm-2:00pm

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

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.

Introduction to Risk Management

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

When:
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 | 4:00pm-5:00pm OR
Tuesday, 18 February 2020 | 4:00pm-5:00pm

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

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.

Matter Management Guidelines – Providing

Speaker:
Cameron Hay, MYR Consulting

When:
Tuesday, 10 September 2019 | 12:00pm-2:00pm – FULLY BOOKED
Wednesday, 23 October 2019 | 9:00am-11:00am OR
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 | 12:00pm-2:00pm OR
Wednesday, 6 November 2019 | 3:00pm-5:00pm OR
Tuesday, 12 November 2019 | 9:00am-11:00am OR
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 | 12:00pm-2:00pm OR
Tuesday, 18 February 2020 | 12:00pm-2:00pm OR

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 | 9:00am-11:00am

2 points, Competency 1, Practice Management 

The third seminar in the Law Mutual (WA) series introducing the Guidelines will focus on the third phase of the Matter Management Guidelines – providing legal services. 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.

Webinar – “Cyber resilience for small law practices – what you need to know now”

Speaker:
Simone Herbert-Lowe, Law & Cyber

When:
Thursday, 26 September 2019 | 1:00pm-2:00pm

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

Small law practices are attractive targets for cyber criminals, because they hold sensitive personal information and act on high value transactions. At the same time, small businesses often have less awareness of and ability to respond to cyber-attacks.
While many principals believe that cyber is purely a technology risk, “people risk” including manipulation of individuals and failure to implement appropriate processes are critical factors in cyber claims impacting lawyers.
In this session we discuss recent claims against Australian lawyers and what you can do to protect your practice.

Practice Management – accountability, responsibility and limits to authority

Speaker:
Cameron Hay, MYR Consulting

When:
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 | 4:00pm-5:00pm OR
Tuesday, 25 February 2020 | 9:00am-10:00am

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

The seminar introduces those requirements in the Practice Management Guidelines related to responsibilities, accountabilities and authorities. 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.

Designed for practitioners who play an active role in managing their firm, this seminar explains how a clear structure of responsibility, accountability and authority can help protect your firm from professional liability risk, while also streamlining office and matter management. Its subject matter is applicable to any firm larger than a sole practice.

The seminar will address the requirements in further detail, and take participants through examples to assist with implementation.

Professional liability risks and controls in Litigation

Speaker:
JC van der Walt, Jackson McDonald

When:
Tuesday, 12 November 2019 | 4:00pm-5:00pm OR
Wednesday, 26 February 2020 | 4:00pm-5:00pm

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

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.

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

Speaker:
Deborah Templeman, Gilchrist Connell

When:
Tuesday, 15 October 2019 | 4:00pm- 5:00pm OR
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 | 1:00pm-2:00pm

1 point, Competency 1, Practice Management 

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.

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 2020/21 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 2019 to 28 February 2020.