risk-management.php

Practice Management

LPLC sees that better practice management lessens the risk of claims.  Each person in every function of a legal practice has a role to play in managing risk.  Effective practice management means optimising strategies, policies and systems, with individuals having the right skills and behaviours, to ensure that legal services are delivered consistently to a high quality and to the satisfaction of clients.  If a practice is well managed, the likelihood of mistakes occurring will be reduced.

LPLC have many resources to assist practitioners with practice management, how they relate to the claims we see and what firms can do to manage their practices better. Please choose a resource from the menu.


 

1 December 2017

Why apologise

When preparing a response to a complaint consider whether an apology should form part of the response. If you make a mistake in a civilised society it is expected that you will apologise to the wronged person. This protocol often falls down when insurance is involved because many people equate an apology and an admission […]

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1 November 2017

Minimise your risk

Risk is a part of every legal practice.  Practitioners should be aware of the common underlying causes of negligence claims against law firms, as well as the practice management steps that can reduce risk. Every job is an opportunity to earn fees, do fulfilling work and enhance your reputation, but every engagement carries risk. You […]

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1 October 2017

Audits add value

File audits are an important tool for all legal practices. File reviews are an effective way of checking your firm’s susceptibility to claims as well as being good file management practice. No matter the size of the practice, monitoring files for compliance with the firm’s standards and for identifying risk areas that need attention are […]

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1 September 2017

Video conferencing risks

There are risk management issues to consider when using video conferencing. Video conferencing is a prime example of changing technology affecting the way lawyers do business. Years ago it was only available for large companies and now everyone carries the capability in their pocket. The risks for lawyers of using video conferencing relates to identity […]

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8 May 2017

Be prepared

Office policies and procedures are good risk management. There are many risk management benefits to having well-written and implemented office policies and procedures, including enabling employees to clearly understand their individual and team roles and responsibilities within the firm. The LPLC has developed a list of policies (and some procedures) for legal firms. It can […]

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19 October 2016

Cyber security cautionary tale

Table of contentsIntroductionThe realistic emailHijacking his emailLessons Introduction Cyber security needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether you are in a small firm or a large firm. The recent experience of a Victorian law firm is a good example of how easy it is to be caught out. The realistic email A […]

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23 May 2007

E-mail guidelines

Table of contentsSending e-mailReceiving e-mail Sending e-mail 1. Discuss with your clients at the outset what categories of communication they do or do not want via e-mail. 2. Consider if e-mail is the right medium for each communication. Would a posted letter, a face-to-face meeting or a telephone call be more appropriate? 3. Only put in an […]

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8 December 2017

Updated conveyancing practice risk guide

In 2016/17 LPLC received 127 conveyancing claims and notifications which represented approximately 30 per cent of all claims and notifications received that year. The cost of these claims is currently estimated to be in excess of $10 million. This represents an increase in both the number and cost of claims compared to 2015/16. Given conveyancing […]

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10 October 2017

Stop and think about loan agreements

When a client insists on entering into a risky loan agreement, it is essential to step back and think about whether the client has made an informed choice and you have documented their instructions and your advice. In one claim, the practitioner acted for a lender regarding a loan to a property developer. The practitioner […]

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22 September 2017

Migration lawyers and risk management

At the 2017 LPLC Risk Management Intensive a practitioner mentioned how difficult it was for practitioners to keep up with the constant changes to our immigration system. The same can probably be said for all areas of law. The practitioner also commented that the system is complicated because there are now over 100 types of […]

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25 August 2017

Stay within your limits when using counsel

It is high risk for practitioners to act outside their area of expertise, even when assisted by counsel who is an expert in the relevant area. In one claim, a practitioner acted for a client in a property dispute with the client’s ex-girlfriend despite the practitioner’s lack of expertise in family law matters. The client […]

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18 August 2017

Confirm agent’s instructions with your client

Recently LPLC has received numerous claims where there was ineffective communication between the practitioner and their client after the practitioner had dealt primarily with the client’s agent on the matter. In one claim, the practitioner acted for a lender on instructions from a broker regarding a loan. The practitioner was instructed to register an interest […]

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20 November 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File transfer from another firm

  Client intake Comment or detail Complete the client intake checklist to establish if you should act for this client in this matter at this time (click here). Immediate file review  Comment or detail Conduct an immediate file review to determine: critical dates and relevant time limits outstanding issues next steps. Internal procedure  Comment or […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File transfer to another practitioner within the firm

    File transferred to another practitioner within the firm Yes No Comment or detail Has the client requested the change of practitioner? □ □ Has the practitioner receiving the file confirmed they have the knowledge and capacity to do the work? □ □ Has the transferring practitioner completed a detailed memorandum that: details the […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File closing

  Work completed Yes No Comment or detail Have we written to the client confirming: all required work has been completed? □ □ any outstanding issues that are the client’s responsibility? □ □ any critical dates and consequences? □ □ future actions (such as exercise of an option) that is the client’s responsibility? □ □ […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: File transfer to another firm

  File transferred to another firm at request of client Yes No Comment or detail Before we transfer the file have we: spoken with the client about their concerns? □ □ accounted for all work and disbursements? □ □ Have we written to the client confirming: the status of their matter including work completed and […]

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15 June 2017

Key Risk Checklist: Client intake

  Client   Comment or detail Who is the client? (Individual or entity) Ethical Yes No   Comment or detail Is VOI required (or desirable)? □ □ Is there more than one client? □ □ Has the firm acted for or against this client previously? □ □ Are there any potential conflicts? (particularly if more […]

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11 May 2017

Know your limits

Table of contentsIntroductionLessons from the claimsTime limits most commonly missedClaims examples Introduction With the proliferation of time limits in legislation today missing limitation dates is a mistake that occurs in many areas of the law. The reasons for missing time limits are varied as are the potential repercussions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge […]

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1 December 2017

Risk video bite – Supervision

Presenter: Alex Macmillan, Risk Manager, LPLC

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3 November 2017

Risk video bite – Delegation

Presenter: Alex Macmillan, Claims Manager, LPLC

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28 July 2015

Risk video bite – Engagement letters – what you will do and what you won’t

Presenter: Miranda Milne, Chief  Executive Officer, LPLC

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17 June 2015

Risk video bite | Useable trail – fail to record advice at your own peril

Presenter: Heather Hibberd, Chief Risk Manager, LPLC

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9 February 2015

Risk video bite | Who are you actually acting for?

Presenter:  Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

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20 July 2017

Working together – roles and obligations

What we will do when we act for you Be courteous and polite at all times. Act in your best interests only. Keep your information confidential unless you give us permission to disclose it or we are required by law to disclose it. To enables us to handle your matter as quickly and economically as […]

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