FOIL launches professional standard for insurance lawyers

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The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) has launched a set of competence statements for defendant insurance lawyers called The FOIL Standard.

The FOIL Standard, which sits alongside the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s baseline competence statement required of all solicitors, provides a benchmark for insurance lawyers and their insurer clients of competence in specialist areas of insurance law.

Laurence Besemer, CEO of FOIL, said that at a time of significant change in the approach of the legal sector to continuing professional development, FOIL felt it was important for the insurance sector to have some “clearly defined standards” demonstrating legal competence in insurance law and commercial knowledge.

“The FOIL Standard has the support of the Law Society, the ABI and the Chartered Institute of Insurance, all of whom always want to see the highest levels of professionalism being promoted,” said Besemer.

“Using the knowledge and expertise of its sector focus teams, FOIL has produced statements of legal knowledge for ten specialist areas of insurance law; from first party fraud to motor and clinical negligence to catastrophic injury.

“These represent the highest benchmarks of knowledge in each sector and can be used to demonstrate competence within the regulatory framework as well as excellence in more commercial settings.”

Under SRA rules, lawyers are required both to provide a proper standard of service and to maintain levels of legal knowledge, ensuring they keep themselves updated of developments likely to impact of the advice they give to clients.

“The FOIL Standard, with its dedicated competence statements, provides FOIL members with independently recognised credentials which we believe will provide clients with a strong reference point when selecting their legal advisers,” added Besemer.

The FOIL Standard can be found at www.foil.org.uk.

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk