Des Hudson says cutting lender cover would hurt house buyers

Law Society chief executive Des Hudson has slammed the assigned risks pool (ARP) and proposed changes to an SRA consultation paper on the future of solicitor's professional indemnity insurance.

Hudson, speaking at an Association of British Insurer's event this morning, claimed the SRA mismanaged the ARP until about six months ago.

"There continue to be very serious concerns from lenders, PII insurers and the profession about the way the ARP is or will be managed," he said.

He went on to say that some of the changes put forward by the SRA in their recent consultation document would damage the legal profession.

House buyers would be affected if the SRA cut lender cover from the minimum cover requirements for solicitor's professional indemnity insurance, he added.

"The current proposals in this regard will be a disaster to the profession, damaging to house buyers and bad news for insurers," said Hudson.

He claims the Law Society opposed the SRA proposals to remove lender cover, adding that it would damage hundreds of solicitors' firms.

Hudson suggested that the legal profession needed to guarantee quality from its members, and added: "We need an insurance scheme that recognises that although the public interest is very important, that that interest is not served by a stifled market.

"We need to put in place the necessary covers that ensure that all legal firms who want to do conveyancing work in this market are protected in the future and are able to compete in the market, and the Law Society is committed to doing precisely that."