Legal Services Board has given itself another year to mull the changes

Plans to reduce the minimum level of professional indemnity cover required by small solicitor firms have been delayed and will not happen before this year’s October renewal.

The Legal Services Board (LSB) said proposals to reduce the minimum level of cover from £2m to £500,000 could harm consumer interests.

It has invited the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which wanted the changes, to provide more information to support its case and delayed its decision by a year.

The ABI described the extension as a “victory for common sense”.

The ABI’s policy advisor for civil justice Jonathan Pryke said: “The SRA’s proposals were misguided, had not been carefully considered and, if ratified by the LSB, would have left insufficient time for insurers and the legal profession to implement the changes before this renewal season. The proposals would have left consumers exposed to significant financial risk.

“Allowing an extended period for debate and preparing a further impact assessment are essential before final recommendations can be made.”