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Solicitor4All, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8247
Experience:  Director and Principal Solicitor. UK
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I work as a self-employed virtual admin assistant, but

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Hi there! I work as a self-employed virtual admin assistant, but previously I worked as a conveyancing paralegal. As part of my virtual admin job, I want to offer a service to conveyancing firms whereby I assist a solicitor with aspects of the conveyancing process, for example preparing completion statements, reports on title, land registry forms, but I will not handle any case from start to finish. I understand that I would be classed as an employee under the solicitor firm's SRA regulations and therefore covered by their indemnity insurance.
However, to cover the risk of their insurance company ever trying to make a claim against me, would a correctly drafted disclaimer, signed by the solicitor and/or their insurance company protect me from such a risk? Kind regards ***** *****
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I'm in the UK.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I've tried to obtain paralegal indemnity insurance but so far without success.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not at this time.
Good evening, welcome to just answer, I am a solicitor and I am happy to review your enquiry today. I hope to find you well apart from this issue that you need guidance on.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Good evening. All is well with me, thank you, ***** ***** hope all is well with you too. I am grateful you can help.

If the firm classes you as employee due to the level of involvement you have with the files then they would be obliged to list you on the list of professionals to be indemnified by the PII. 
If you are declared in that way then there shouldn't be any come back to you. However as self em0ployed assistant if you are not going to work for just one firm you want to actually take out your own cover should the cover provided by the firms not be sufficient to cover for example cyber attacks.

Any follow up please do not hesitate to send your message. Always glad to assist and tp clarify anything for you. My name is ***** ***** feel free to save me in your favourites for when you return for quicker connection. All the best

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you. Am I classed as an employee regardless of my level of involvement, as the firm are using my services, the same as when they employ a locum for example? If not, would it be prudent to still ask a legal firm to sign a disclaimer as I can get indemnity insurance for virtual admin work, which covers cyber attack, but not for anything classed as legal advice?

When a locum attends and assists on files the locum does not have personal liability on the files. If they have no control over what work you pick, when you pick the work and do not provide you with resources to complete your support services then you cannot be an employee.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
is a locum covered by the firm's PI? The firm will tell me what work they want me to do, when to do it by and they will provide me with the resources, such as access to their case management system, and the info needed to carry out the task, so I assume therefore I'm an employee?

Locum would be covered. With what you have described that seems to say you don't have control over what work you do or when you do it or what resource to use so you would fit the employee description.

Solicitor4All and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
That's great thank you so much for your help. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.

You are very welcome

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I'm sorry to come back with another question, but I have just thought of it. If I provide the above service through one of my clients that I undertake work for, who will provide the law firm with their terms and conditions, would I still be considered an employee under this part of the SRA Regulations: 'Employee means an individual who is:engaged under a contract of service by a person, firm or organisation or its wholly owned service company'? Thank you.

Be employed by your client and they have a commercial terms of engagement with the firm.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
My client only takes on their virtual admin assistants in a self-employed capacity, but maybe it's something I can suggest. If they are not open to it, would I be considered an employee under the SRA regulations, if the service was undertaken via them?

You should not overthink it though. IF you are a student member of the law society you should call the SRA on***********during the morning and ask them that you have an issue that you wish to clarify on ethics and conduct and they will advise you in confidence.