Welcome to the first edition the Bulletin in 2018. We wish all practitioners the best for 2018 and a claim free year.
As you plan for 2018, you must consider the appropriate risk management measures to be incorporated into your practice in line with your strategic plan for the year. It is imperative that you take time to assess the internal and external environment applicable to your firm, scan the environment and assess all the risks applicable within your own unique circumstances. Should any of the risks materialise, these could have an impact on the achievement of your strategy and business goals for the year. The potential impact of each risk must be assessed and appropriate response measures documented. The risks, the potential impact thereof and the response measures can be listed in a risk schedule/ matrix which may include:
- a description of the risk;
- its potential impact;
- the value of the inherent risk;
- the likelihood description;
- whether or not controls are present in the firm to address the risk;
- a description of the controls that can be implemented;
- the effectiveness of the controls;
- the value of the residual risk; and
- any other information you may consider relevant.
We will gladly give our assistance to any law firm requiring assistance in developing a risk matrix and risk management plan. The risk management plan must address the unique circumstances of the law firm. In order to gain the maximum value from a risk management plan, this should not be treated as a ‘tick-box’ exercise. The risk management plan must be cascaded to all levels of staff and included in the firm’s training regime.
Remember that not all risks are negative and that some may have positive (upside) implications for the firm.