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SMDF LQ Basic / ANC LQ Basic Standard

PI Renewal - Starting from Scratch?
Implement your Risk Management Programme over a Year
The SMDF LQ Basic Risk Management Programme Outline for 2010/2011

Programme Introduction and Registration – September/October 2010

  • Register for the SMDF LQ Basic / LQ Basic Standard
  • You will receive a Certificate of Registration to confirm that you are registered which you can include with your PI application forms this year
  • The Certificate demonstrates your commitment to risk management to insurers
  • You will also receive the Risk Management Manual and CD Rom which contains 41 worksheets and precedents.
  • You may work through the Standard at your own pace – implement one policy or procedure a week over 40 weeks – the workshops will give you help and feedback
  • You will qualify for 6 CPD Practice Management credits at the workshops which includes 1 Regulatory credit

Standard One and Two – Workshop March 2011

  • Attend a workshop in March 2011 which will deal with Standard One and Standard Two, the most important elements of the Standard.
    • Standard One and Standard Two
  • Bring your audit folder to the workshop with any draft documents you have prepared

Standard Three and Four – Workshop May 2011

  • Attend a second workshop dealing with Standard Three and Four.
    • Standard Three and Standard Four
  • Bring your audit folder to the workshop with any draft documents you have prepared

These standards were the first standards in Ireland, and we devised them to provide a solution to the requirements of underwriters who set premiums for solicitors’ professional indemnity. A significant percentage of the legal profession has already applied for either the LQ or the SMDF LQ Basic this year, and we intend strongly representing the interests of these firms at renewal and assisting any firms experiencing difficulties obtaining renewal.



What is the SMDF LQ Basic / LQ Basic (non SMDF Members) Standard?

The SMDF LQ Basic is a set of 4 minimum standards designed to minimise risk in the operation of a law firm and to enable firms to practice in a safe and profitable manner. By contrast, the LQ Standard (on which the SMDF LQ Basic / LQ Basic is based) has 8 Standards, including Strategic Planning, Financial Controls etc.)

The four minimum Standards of the SMDF LQ Basic are:

  • Standard One – Critical Registers
  • Standard Two – Limiting Liability
  • Standard Three – File Reviews and Supervision
  • Standard Four – Risk Management Procedures

The SMDF LQ Basic Standard is designed to

  • minimise risk in the provision of those services
  • improve quality in the provision of legal services
  • provide a framework for legal firms to implement their own policies and procedures to achieve their aims
  • Standard Four – Risk Management Procedures

The SMDF LQ Basic Standard is presented in a straightforward and simple manner. It is transparent. It enables solicitors to optimise their position at renewal time.



How can the SMDF LQ Basic / LQ Basic help me assess and reduce my risk?

The LQ Basic sets out the essential risk management procedures required of solicitors for professional indemnity. In order to assess the level of risk in your firm, you should assemble all of the policies and procedures you have in place in your firm and compare them to the required elements in the standard as set out in our risk management self-assessment questionnaire. You will see at a glance how many procedures and policies you have and how many you still need.

Every element of the standard reflects either a risk or a claim made in the past. In the majority of cases, claims are foreseeable events. By taking appropriate action, these foreseeable claims can be eliminated, thus reducing risk and bringing the cost of PI down.



The LQ Basic Guide Worksheets and Precedents

This Guide sets out the documents which will be assessed at your audit, the elements required in each document, the reasons for the required elements and action plans with references to background material. The worksheets and precedents in the enclosed manual have taken us four years to write. The precedents represent a development of the appendices in the Solicitor’s Toolkit and the worksheets contain advices and guidance on how to tailor policies and procedures to the needs of your firm. These worksheets and precedents represent much of our knowledge developed from this time in the area of practice and risk management. They incorporate suggestions and improvements offered by colleagues. When implemented, they should assist you to not only to minimize your risk, but also to help you run a better business.



How does the SMDF LQ Basic / ANC LQ Basic process work?

Complete application form and return to Anne Neary Consultants, 173 Rathgar Road, Dublin 6 along with a cheque for the Registration fee.



We will then send you a Certificate of Registration along with the Guide to the SMDF LQ Basic / LQ Basic by email. You may request a hard copy of the Guide at no extra charge.



You can then begin working on your policies and procedures. We will send you worksheets and precedents to assist you in your preparations.



We will arrange an audit date with you. A member of our team of auditors will attend your offices and assess your audit folder.



Your audit will be scored and a detailed report will be prepared. We will send you this report by email along with your Certificate of Accreditation. You can then include this Certificate with your insurance application.



If you would like to find out more about the LQ Standard, email us at anne@anneneary.ie

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