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Editorial: A careful balance
By Dan Pinnington, President & CEO of LAWPRO.
My first year as CEO has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that I was writing remarks as the incoming President & CEO for the 2017 Year in Review issue of LAWPRO Magazine. I believe it was a successful year of transition, for both me and the company, and I would like to thank the LAWPRO Board and staff for their help and support through the year.
The work we’ve done to respond to the changing nature of legal services while attempting to match premiums to risk and keeping the insurance program financially healthy and fair continues to be a focus for the company.
For instance, as part of our commitment to access to justice, and thanks to groundwork done with the Law Society in 2019, we began offering a 75 per cent premium reduction to lawyers working exclusively for Civil Society Organizations. This discount is just one of the ways LAWPRO remains committed to offering fair coverage at an affordable premium as we offer a number of premium discounts, credits, and risk based transaction levies. In 2018, we became even more granular in our levies by eliminating the transaction levy for family litigation, which sees fewer claims on average, while increasing the civil litigation levy for non-family litigation, which sees a comparatively greater number of claims and higher claims costs.
In 2018, we were successful in six out of seven matters that went to trial and for which a decision was rendered, including on appeal. We argued 29 summary judgement motions at first instance and won 23 of them. 2,774 new claims were reported in 2018 and our customer service department handled more than 56,000 calls and emails.
These interactions tell us that Ontario lawyers continue to face a wide variety of issues and challenges as they handle files and manage their practices.
The practicePRO program, which is recognized across North America as a leading risk management service, celebrated 20 years of providing helpful resources and information through LAWPRO Magazine, electronic newsletters, the AvoidAClaim.com blog, social media, and live presentations. Almost 100 such presentations were delivered to lawyers throughout the province last year to bring attention to common risk areas and claims prevention tactics.
As I start my second year as CEO, I remain committed to helping Ontario lawyers avoid claims and adapt to a changing practice climate. While we have always been a leader in using technology – an amazing 97 per cent of our insureds completed their 2019 renewals online – we are exploring how existing and new technologies can better support our service to insureds and core business functions. There will be challenges and opportunities ahead for us all and I look forward to meeting them together.