Don’t Be Shy

Many lawyers are humble people. They don’t like to shout about success. They downplay their innovations. Nowadays, that’s a weakness they need to rectify.

I had the pleasure of speaking at a Calico Legal Services webinar recently, supporting our friends at Locktons as they spoke about the PII market. My input mainly related to ways that firms can improve their risk profile by focusing on their finance function, which sits at the very centre of a firm’s risk profile, I’d say.

Client money. Compliance. Cyber threat. Negligence. Business management. All these factors meet at the heart of the legal entity.

Firms have the regulatory headaches to manage – the regulations to adhere to. Speaking as an ex partner in a couple of large firms, I feel qualified to state that overseeing the level of compliance of a cashier’s work is not something most lawyers would want to do, let alone be capable of.

Then there’s the fact that the efficient and secure handling of client money falls squarely within that function, and again the compliant and practical operation of the process is something which the lawyers struggle to fathom.

You have to feel for the poor cashier in many law firms. If they do their job perfectly every day, swerving the cyber criminals, coping with spikes of activity on a Friday, accurately inputting the data vital to production of worthwhile MI, not a word will be said. Yet if they make a mistake, the consequences for a firm can be cataclysmic. (You can always outsource your legal cashiering!)

Brian Boehmer of Locktons spoke eloquently about the need for firms to go beyond mere form filling when seeking their PII renewal. More than ever this year every penny saved could be vital, as firms face premium increases of 30, 50 even 100%. Brian explained that the brokers need to be given the ammo with which to engage with insurers and explain why this particular firm is different and should be given a better quote than that one.

Tell your broker about training you implement on cyber risk.

Tell them about your recruitment processes which check new employees.

Tell them everything that differentiates your firm from others.

If your firm is doing something different, tell the story. If you’re a start up, do things differently from the outset.

An outsourced solution can bring ‘reflected glory’ – our clients can talk in terms of increased cyber security, increased internal fraud security, efficiency improvements, assured compliance, accurate data and MI, resilient, scalable service. If you’re using a digital dictation provider such as Documents Direct, the resilience of service and improved accuracy is something insurers will value.

There isn’t long to go before the end of September, so give detail and engage quickly, making your proposition look so attractive that the brokers will want to work with you because they will believe they can get insurance for you.

For many firms this will be a tough time for insurance, so it’s also worth considering how you can improve things for next year. Think innovatively and tell the world about it. Now is not the time to be hiding your light under a bushell.

Two of the leading PII brokers in the UK have provided ringing endorsements of the quality of our service. In particular they recognise the reduction in risk that our processes, tech and people bring to a law firm.

As a result of the current professional indemnity insurance (PII) conditions many practices may be facing come the 1st October, we are working closely with Lockton at present to soften any possible increases, and the service features and processes used by The Cashroom for our clients mean that this will be viewed positively by many underwriters and Insurers. Whilst the basis of each premium will be judged individually on the merits of each firm, Lockton are able to use this as a tool to make sure your practice starts the renewal journey on the front foot.

Jake Fox of JM Glendinning said that when he is talking to insurers on behalf of a firm, if he is aware that The Cashroom are providing the cashiering service, he always makes a point of explaining how our way of working reduces the risk and creates greater efficiency. He went on to say that if there were two very similar firms and one was using The Cashroom and the other was not, the insurers would always want to underwrite the one using The Cashroom before the other.

At The Cashroom we now provide a full accounting service to the legal profession – from day to day entries, through compliance, management accounts, credit control, all the way to year end and Statutory Accounts. Additionally, we are regularly instructed for our consultancy service to advise firms on the structure, compliance and efficiency of their finance function.

We have a unique insight into the requirements of delivering an optimised legal accounting function. Our senior team consists of Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, Lean Processing experts, Legal Finance Professionals and IT Professionals giving us an unparalleled breadth of knowledge from which to design and deliver the best possible solution.

If you would like any more information about The Cashroom and what we offer, then please get in touch. Alternatively please email [email protected].

Alex Holt, Director of Business Development at The Cashroom Ltd

This article was submitted to be published by The Cashroom as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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