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.

Don't be shy

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 cybercriminals, 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.

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 ammunition 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 cybersecurity, 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 bushel.

Alex Holt, Business Development Director

The Cashroom Ltd

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The Cashroom Ltd

We exist to deal with the day to day administration of a law firm’s finance function, ensure compliance with the Solicitor’s Accounts Rules, and provide firms with management information and Management Accounts. Our legal cashiering service, for almost 180 clients in the UK, is delivered remotely by a team of qualified cashiers, working in our offices using the client’s own practice management system.