Following on from my previous blog, we now have it chapter and verse from Jonathan Sachs a partner at Irwin Mitchell and an expert in Professional Negligence.
You see, it is not just me saying this with some hidden (or not so hidden) agenda. Mr Sachs says it very succinctly:
"There must be a lot of solicitors out there who didn't give advice on ATE insurance, or couldn't be bothered to arrange it. Under the Code of Conduct, solicitors are required to discuss all available insurance options with their litigation clients and advise on whether it should be obtained."
He said Irwin Mitchell had acted on a number of professional negligence actions due to the failure of the solicitor to advise the client about ATE insurance and a 'line of cases' which have settled in which solicitors were held to be negligent for their failure in offering or advising clients about After the Event insurance.
There are still many firms we are coming across who are simply not offering clients ATE cover or are not explaining the importance of the policies. This is forming a Pandora's box which is about to be opened.
Pretty clear then. You must offer ATE insurance to your client and explain the need for it fully, or let your Professional Indemnity Insurers know. I suspect they will be none too pleased.