Insurer has accused solicitor of allowing former partner to act dishonestly

A solicitor suspended from practising is suing Quinn Insurance for refusing to pay a professional indemnity (PI) insurance claim.

Adesope Adeeko was ordered to pay more than £700,000 to a company following a High Court judgment in May. However, when Adeeko claimed on his insurance, Quinn refused to cover two-partner solicitors’ firm Sade Kay, according to the writ. Sade Kay has ceased trading.

The insurer said Adeeko allowed his former partner Folasade Kaffo to act dishonestly. Adeeko said he knows nothing of Kaffo’s alleged dishonesty, and that she concealed dishonest transactions from him.

Adeeko, from Coventry, said he paid Quinn a £16,500 premium. He is seeking a legal declaration for Quinn to cover claims and civll liabilities made against the practice. Adeeko said he is suffering severe financial damage, and is now legally liable for claims brought against the firm after the insurer declined liability.

A Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) spokesman said the practising certifcates of both Adeeko and Kaffo have been suspended from the register, and a solicitors’ disciplinary tribunal hearing is scheduled.

Quinn, which is barred from the UK?commercial market by the Irish regulator, said: “Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) operates in the professional indemnity insurance market under the Law Society’s minimum terms, in line with all other insurers. Under the terms of the policy, insurers have the right to refute indemnity in circumstances where commission of, or condonation of, dishonesty is proven. This matter is the subject of ongoing proceedings and QIL is fully defending its position.”

London law firm Goldfields, representing Adeeko, did not comment.

• The Law Society is partnering Lloyd’s broker PYV to help solicitors’ firms avoid the assigned risks pool (ARP) before the 1 October deadline for PI renewals. Under the safety net scheme, PYV will assess the risk profile of firms and then find appropriate cover. The scheme will also help firms looking to leave the ARP.

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: “We are committed to doing all we can to offer an opportunity to distressed legal practices.This is a positive development for those unable to obtain professional indemnity insurance cover.”

Hudson is expecting a flood of calls to the Law Society PI helpline – 020 7320 9545 – before the deadline.