Legal expenses insurer DAS is freezing premiums for its commercial legal expenses package for the rest of the year, following a policy review in January.

But it warns premiums for just employment related cover will probably rise in May because of the growing number of employment tribunals.

"While most companies prioritise employment matters," says DAS assistant general manager Tony Buss, "we believe in today's trading environment a wider package is what is needed. It is also now the best option for value."

DAS blames three factors for fuelling the pressure on rates: a reduction in qualifying period from two years to a year; it is easier to make a claim because of the introduction of 'no win no fee' legal bills, and compensation awards hiked from £12,000 to £50,000.

DAS recommends a minimum standard limit of indemnity of £100,000, to allow the possibility of a maximum £50,000 award and still leave sufficient cover for legal bills.

Rating agency Standard & Poor's has raised the legal expenses insurer's public information rating to A (Strong). It reflects DAS' continued success, demonstrating year-on-year growth, while maintaining balance sheet strength and a high level of liquidity.