Irish law firms must achieve cover by 1 December

The future of the Solicitors Mutual Defence Fund (SMDF) in Ireland is still undecided after brokers were given more time to find reinsurance on the London market.

SMDF chairman Laurence Shields had hoped to come to a decision about the future of the mutual at the start of the month, but has now given the funds’ brokers, Miller Insurance Services in London and Dublin-based Jardine Lloyd Thompson, more time.

Shields said the mutual was sending out renewal forms to its members, and he was “still hopeful” that reinsurance would be found.

The fund, which organises professional indemnity insurance for Irish solicitors, may not be able to continue because of huge increases in premium caused by a surge of recession-related claims.

The ultimate deadline for renewal is 1 December. Solicitors failing to gain cover will find themselves in the Irish equivalent of the assigned risk pool.