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Professional Indemnity

With recognised specialist capability, we handle a full range of professional indemnity matters. Our sector based approach (within professional indemnity) enables us to fully understand the needs of insurers, insureds and brokers.

How we can help

Understanding your commercial needs

Our Professional Indemnity team is truly experienced and internationally renowned. Expertise in our domestic markets is coupled with extensive experience of dealing with claims around the world – making us one of the foremost professional indemnity offerings in the market.

The excellent standard of service provided is the same across the globe; providing you with the benefit of local teams supported with national and international coverage and a consistent, high quality claims approach across your book of business.

As a full service legal business, we work alongside our corporate, commercial and regulatory teams to bring greater commerciality, sector knowledge and market experience to support you with your professional indemnity claims.

We work with our Connected Services division to offer our clients strategic, practical solutions for example, advocacy, costs, forensic accountancy and loss adjusting, together with training and analysis of claims data to assist underwriting. We also have abundant experience of advising Insurers on the full range of coverage issues that arise in the wide range of professionals insured by our clients.

As well as providing expert PI advice across the spectrum of traditional and emerging professionals, we have a proven Directors & Officers capability, ranging from multi-jurisdictional coverage disputes to SME claims; from matters arising from Health and Safety and regulatory issues, to policy drafting and advisory work.

Commerciality is at the heart of all we do – from cost effective and innovative claims handling services through to the robust defence of claims without merit. Claims with merit need to be resolved in a speedy and cost efficient manner, while those without require a robust, cost-effective defence.

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Our Professional Indemnity services include:

Accountants

 
Accountants

Our approach is grounded in deep, specialist and practical industry experience, arising from long relationships with insurers of all types of accountancy practices and those practices themselves.

Our accountancy specialists act for insurers and accountants on the whole range of claims, disciplinary complaints, coverage issues, and risk management issues that affect them, and the hot issues they face.

Working directly with insurers and their insured accountants, we take a "one-stop-shop" approach, drawing in expertise tailored carefully to individual needs. From claims relating to current hot topics around Companies Act audits, tax mitigation and cybercrime, through to claims relating to insolvency, fraud, tax, accounts preparation, expert witness work and investment advice, including regulatory complaints and disciplinary investigations - DWF’s award-winning expertise, combined with our in-house forensic accountancy team and our own claims handling services, as well as our wide range of bespoke software products, presents a proactive, commercial legal service solution respected and trusted across the insurance and accountancy sectors.

A longer-term approach

We understand that clients' needs vary. That is why we work hard to understand clients' objectives before building a team to respond quickly, decisively and thinking beyond immediate results. As well as support when clients face a civil claim or regulatory/disciplinary investigation, we also provide pre-emptive advice on risk management issues and planning.

Download our information sheet

Actuaries

 
Actuaries

Claims against actuaries are few and far between, but when they do arise, knowing you have an experienced legal team with an understanding of everything, from defined benefit schemes to the increasing regulatory framework, takes the pressure off.

We’re one of few firms to offer dedicated expertise and long-standing experience, advising on contentious regulatory matters, including hearings before the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman & Financial Ombudsman Service, as well as professional negligence litigation and coverage advice.

While actuaries face few claims, when they do, we have, for many years, acted for them and their insurers. With a commitment to avoiding litigation, we have a particular expertise in claims relating to Defined Benefit Pension Schemes, as well as other specialist areas such as funeral plan contracts. We also understand the data protection issues affecting actuaries and likely coverage points.

What sets us apart, beyond being one of the few firms to truly specialise in this field, is our recognition of the importance of deep, thorough, accurate knowledge and understanding.  We work hard to ensure that every piece of advice combines attention to detail with practical, commercial suggestions.

Operating across the UK

Our approach is one of the most respected this niche field.  With a team spanning the DWF offices in London, Bristol, Glasgow and Belfast, we draw on members of the wider group to ensure that advice given responds to your strategic objectives and the unique details of your case.

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Architects

 
Architects

Our expert professional indemnity team is known for responding swiftly and cost-effectively across all areas of architecture-related professional indemnity, both preventatively and in defending claims that have arisen.

We are known for our in-depth knowledge of our clients’ businesses, as well as the challenges they face. Our size means we can adapt to each of the claims you face – from the largest multi-jurisdictional claim or multi-party action, to smaller claims.

For more than 30 years our specialists have advised architects and practices on contractual responsibilities as well as defending them against UK and international claims (including misconduct) and advising on litigation, domestic and international arbitration, mediation, expert witness determination and adjudication. Through our involvement as specialist advisers to your professional Institute and our work on several pi helplines, we have a unique insight both into the current problems and the future challenges facing your profession. 

We are trusted by leading architectural firms

We have both historic and current links with a substantial proportion of architects. We are proud of our strong track-record for advising practices of all sizes, from some of the largest in the country down to sole practitioners, as well as liaising with insurers and brokers. Our specialist non-contentious contract advice is both legal and practical, so that contract negotiations can be advanced and conclude on sensible terms.

We are also part of the RIBA Editorial Group, responsible for preparing successive standard appointment and associated documentation issued by the RIBA.

Cyber Insurance

 
Cyber Insurance

Working within one of the largest and most respected insurance practices, our cyber insurance experts offer a complete solution, across coverage and litigation in both the private and public sectors.

Data protection breaches and cyber-attacks can affect any modern business and its supply chain so businesses are rightly looking at what cover is available. For insurers, there is the added risk that cyber exposures are often hidden within existing policy wordings, presenting challenges for insurers intending to insure other perils.

Acting for major insurers and FTSE-listed technology companies, we combine industry insight, commercial awareness and legal excellence. Our expertise includes defending claims against IT professionals and computer software suppliers, advising on coverage disputes, policy drafting and advisory work and advising on data protection issues for insurers and policyholders.

A valuable part of your team

We understand the importance of adding value through education and resources. We provide regular training sessions on technology, media/telecoms and cyber issues to insurers, loss adjusters, brokers and policyholders wanting to learn more about these areas.

Download our information sheet

Financial Institutions

 
Financial Institutions

We combine the best of both insurance and financial services expertise, supporting policyholders and their insurers.

An increase in regulatory investigations, crime, and product sales scrutiny brings with it a need for genuine sector expertise and experience.

IFAs

 
IFAs

Regulatory reforms, Brexit, increased fraud and a growing claims culture present uncertainty for IFAs, requiring specialist, expert understanding not only of professional indemnity insurance, but also of the IFA sector itself.

We have been acting for IFAs and their insurers for over 30 years.  Whenever a major financial product has gone bad, we have been involved, representing and advising IFAs.

Our specialists are trusted across the industry to provide the very best, practical advice. This covers FCA investigations and skilled person reviews, complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service and Pensions Ombudsman, including judicial review of irrational decisions, litigation and coverage. We are also experienced in dealing with the FSCS.

We have advised on all the major mis-selling scandals, from Barlow Clowes to Ingenious, including splits, Lehman Brothers backed products, Keydata, Arch cru film finance schemes and DB transfers, as well as acting in reported cases and enforcement actions. Our dedicated team of specialists is used to advising on the issues that arise with multiple mis-sales, including group and managed litigation and pensions unlocking and rebates, insistent customers and investment fraud.

Getting to the heart of every challenge through collaboration

We take a holistic approach to resolving your problems, aligning our proposed solutions with your key drivers and concerns. What sets us apart is our willingness to immerse ourselves in the detail. It means we can resolve issues efficiently and effectively.

Download our information sheet

IT and Media

 
IT and Media

We are one of the few insurance-focused teams specialising in defending claims on behalf of insurers brought against technology and media professionals by their clients and former clients.

Whether addressing allegations of negligence and breach of contract, advising insurers on allegations of defamation, misrepresentation and breach of intellectual property rights, advising insurers on policy coverage and wordings, our experience and reputation stand ahead of the field.

What we do

We understand that the provision of Professional Indemnity insurance to the media and technology sector is a growing area. Those insurers holding a strong market share are feeling increasing pressure from new and emerging entrants, as well as changes in the ways customer relationships and claims are managed. 

Most importantly, we understand that technology businesses often start small, before growing quickly. This presents insurers with challenges. Whilst in this growth period we understand the vital importance of reaching an early decision as to whether or not there is scope to preserve a contract or project and, if not, whether the policyholder needs to take action for repudiatory breach (usually non-payment).  Further, we understand that this ‘flexing’ means insurers come under increasing pressure to find ways to ensure that insurance cover develops at the same pace as a policyholder's business, to meet the needs of all parties, at every stage.

At DWF we combine a reputation for our market-leading use, and understanding, of technology in our own business, as well as one of the largest and most respected insurance practices in the UK. This helps us to 'talk the insured's language' and develop a level of trust with the policyholder that aids resolution in the long run. Whether advising on claims, policy wordings or strategic matters, we understand the sector, the language and the issues facing policyholders (and insurers) in this rapidly expanding market.

Download our information sheet

Jewellery

 
Jewellery

With the value of precious metals having increased considerably, in recent years, so has the volume of insurance claims relating to the loss and theft of jewellery. We understand that handling these matters requires sensitivity as well as expertise.

We’re specialists in providing practical, commercial advice to insurer clients with respect to a broad range of issues arising from jewellery-related claims.

Working across the DWF offices, our team of specialist jewellery claims experts advise some of the largest insurer names, providing home and other personal possession insurance, throughout the entire claim lifecycle - from pre-litigation through to complaints, litigation and recovery.

We have a proven track record for successes in defending claims against insurers and securing favourable outcomes across a range of jewellery claims, including those related to policy coverage, policy interpretation, liability and evidential disputes. 

A commercially-focused, innovative approach

We understand the importance of helping our insurer clients to recover costs, reduce litigation spend and to increase fraud detection.

Download our information sheet

Kidnap and Ransom

 
Kidnap and Ransom

We understand that clients operating in countries including Mexico, Columbia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, in diverse sectors such as energy and industrials, with large workforces, might attract unwanted attention from criminal groups.

Our specialists bring experience and expertise, focused on reducing risk and assisting when claims arise.

We act for charterers and ship-owners, as well as their insurers, P&I clubs and reinsurers in London, the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, supporting them in times of crises arising from pollutions, groundings, collisions, explosions, riots and revolutions.

Our areas of expertise include interpreting the provisions of Kidnap & Ransom policies for insurers and assureds, advising business that operate in unstable or dangerous jurisdictions about the scope of cover available, analysing the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000, advising on corporate and personal offences, advising on cargo theft, from yards and warehouses, and representing international traders whose personnel have been kidnapped at the hands of maritime pirates.

A team of experts you can rely on

Our have a particularly strong reputation for our effective due diligence, designed to identify who controls and operates criminal groups, who they are affiliated with and what they use their money for.

Lawyers (Solicitors and Barristers)

 
Lawyers (Solicitors and Barristers)

Uncertainty over cyber risks, Brexit, regulation and the constantly changing face of legislation and precedent requires decisive legal expertise, with a clear focus on price and cost management.

Our professional indemnity experts are recognised as one of the largest, most experienced teams delivering expertise across the legal and legal insurance sectors.

We advise on a complete range of professional negligence matters for solicitors, barristers and other legal professionals, including advice on cover, indemnity and dishonesty conferences, disputes with other policy years, litigation, claims before the Legal Ombudsman and all forms of ADR.

As well as advising on immediate claims, our commitment to delivering strategic, practical solutions to reduce future risk sets us apart from our competitors. These solutions include regular client training, analysis of claims data to assist underwriting, and a number of unique products and software offerings (including Sonar, Claimbase and Pinpoint), designed to deliver greater insight, operational effectiveness and commercial advantage to the sector.

Collaboration across our market-leading team.

We are proud of our ability to build tailored service teams, depending on the detail of each case. Working with colleagues across the firm (and across the globe where necessary), we are able to deliver specialist insight and support across technical areas including insolvency, competition, tax and regulatory matters in all UK jurisdictions.

Download our information sheet

Surveyors & Valuers

 
Surveyors & Valuers

With some of the most extensive experience of defending surveyors’ and valuers’ claims in the sector, we understand that an economic upturn will bring claims on deficient structural surveys and home buyers reports, but a downturn will bring claims relating to valuation.

Our specialists are trusted by some of the best-known names in the sector, providing specialist advice to insurers and policyholders on a full range of surveyors and valuers professional indemnity matters.

With expertise ranging from claims relating to the overvaluation of industrial land and hotels, through to undervaluation claims by financial institutions including those selling portfolios of properties, our distinctively practical approach sets us apart.

Driven by a commitment to achieving our clients’ business aims efficiently and cost-effectively, our professional indemnity specialists draw on longstanding experience to not only identify the right claims to defend, but also opportunities for alternative dispute resolution techniques (leading to economic resolutions at an early enough stage so as to prevent cost escalation) as well as advice on how best to avoid and mitigate against future claims.

Understanding the market

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