- More than 10 percent of the notifications and claims received by Lawcover each year arise from systems problems and management of critical dates.
- Regardless of practice area, managing critical dates effectively is an essential risk management tool. It does not have to be a complicated process, but it does need to be consistently applied.
More than 10 per cent of the notifications and claims received by Lawcover each year arise from systems problems. By and large, those problems stem from delay and ineffective management of critical dates.
Consider the following examples:
- Client A is a plaintiff in a Supreme Court matter. The plaintiff’s evidence is not filed in accordance with the Court timetable, the plaintiff’s solicitor fails to appear at the next directions hearing, and the defendant applies for the proceedings to be dismissed.
- Client B wishes to make a family provision claim on her father’s estate. She sees a solicitor about the claim, but proceedings are not commenced within 12 months of his death.
- Client C is the holder of an option to purchase a property. The property is sold to someone else after Client C’s solicitor failed to serve notice of the exercise of the option on the vendor within the time specified in the option deed.
Regardless of practice area, effectively managing critical dates is an essential risk management tool which can reduce stress and decrease the likelihood of an unhappy client or professional negligence claim. Managing critical dates does not have to be a complicated process, but it does need to be done consistently. The following practice tips can help solicitors establish and maintain a clear and consistent approach.