Non-reasons for the change of direction

Since my previous blog on our change of direction, several people have suggested that I should make it clear that the change of direction is not due to any other factors except the sheer unaffordability of professional indemnity insurance (PII) cover: the premium I was expected to pay was £110,000 which, on a turnover of £250,000, was simply unaffordable.

The whole PII system seems crazy: while it would have cost me £110,000 to insure just my one-man-band practice, to insure me and another sole practitioner together would have cost “only” £42,000 – less than half the cost to insure more. (That proposed merger did not work for other reasons, which was disappointing but understandable)

It is still more crazy that, as the solicitors’ profession had done years ago, Licensed Conveyancers can subscribe to a block insurance policy with a premium fixed at a (sensible) percentage of their turnover – that seems to me to be the way to go.

It does seem to me that small firms of solicitors will be progressively driven out of business – 136 this year could not get affordable PII cover so had to close. This will leave the big (and expensive) firms with the lion’s share of the market for legal services: until the big accountants and corporations take over, that is.

Anyway, the reason I am no longer practising as a solicitor – while still working as a lawyer – is all about the cost of PII cover and nothing else.


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