Wednesday, 9 July 2014

In the case of Risk Management, Denial IS Just a River in Egypt

Can conveyancing be better risk managed?
To a room full of lawyers, the answer to this question is so obvious that you would be forgiven for feeling silly for asking it. However, sit opposite a law firm owner and you may find that they are far more comfortable responding “no”. Yet more than that, it would likely be followed with the statement that “it’s most other firms which are in need of better risk management, not us.” Better risk management is for others.
The difficulty with risk analysis conducted by solicitors for themselves is that it to be done right it requires an objective perspective; which, by definition, is an impossibility. Just as Snow White’s tormentor got the same self-sure answer when she asked “Mirror, mirror, on the wall...”, for most solicitors, it's a foregone conclusion.
This surprises me because there's just so much evidence to the contrary. But, don’t just take my word for it, ask PI Insurers. Residential and commercial conveyancing work undertaken by solicitors accounts for the most claims against the profession, both by number and value, by a significant margin.
The easiest thing to do is accept that everything is fine. When you assume this, all the responsibility for outcomes disappears, and you can relax. Ignore the threat; what a wonderful strategy.
If you accept the results you've gotten before, if you hold on to them tightly, then you never have to face the fear of the void, of lifting up the carpet to see what is underneath.  
However, fear is the driving force here. Better risk management might be difficult. Better might involve an investment time and a change of culture, but better is definitely possible. And the alternative is dangerous.
We see it in the behavior of some of the firms that sign up to Lexsure's COMPLETIONmonitor. Some 25% of those signing up waited more than 12 months between reviewing the software and actually signing up. What changed their minds? Claims.

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