Reducing communication errors in legal practice
And the last tip in the series but definitely not least…..
Put it in writing!
And a word of caution from insurers also.
“One of the biggest safety measures that many professional can take is to make adequate file notes. Very often the lack of a note can create a claim, as there is no proof that good and adequate advice was given: the presence of a file note can defeat an unfounded claim very quickly. These need not be verbatim notes but should record the essential points of any client meeting or call…. sending a note to the client or recording its content in a letter is better still, as it reduces the risk of the client later alleging they were not informed……”
Some of my colleagues complain they cannot read my handwritten notes, so I tend to type them up myself, as it’s the only way to make sure there’s a clear written record of verbal advice given to clients.
If like me, your handwriting makes the average doctor’s look like elegant calligraphy, typed notes can be the last piece in the jigsaw to avoid negligence claims.
The point is that there should always be a clear written record of advice given to clients orally – perhaps sending a copy of the written record to clients.
Another example this time from a claim against solicitors. After the completion of a transaction the allegation was the failure to draw attention to an important provision in a company’s articles of association. It meant that a client could be dismissed as a director at will by the company – it was a joint investment by a client and equity investor.
The client had thus lost control when it was not anticipated. There were no notes in the solicitors file that their client was advised but they said they did advise. The solicitors should have ensured that its internal records noted the advice given. Think of the time and or expense of completing a note against the costs (and reputation risk) of a claim.
If you need any advice or help, contact Karim.
Just in case you missed the other tips: