September 26, 2007
Insure Indian Lawyers Against Clients’ Claims: New Law Mag
By Mukesh Jhangiani
United News of India
New Delhi (UNI) – Professional negligence insurance for lawyers and other such issues are highlighted in a new legal magazine, Halsbury’s Law Monthly, unveiled by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan last evening.
Insurance is intended to discourage practices and ways that hurt clients’ interests without much of a hope for them to recover losses, unless they have the stomach for protracted litigation– against their lawyer.
A Monthly piece stresses making professional negligence insurance mandatory in India, pointing out that it will make lawyers more vigilant and protect the clients’ interests.
Such measure can insure lawyers against claims for damages from clients who think the service received was not worth the fee given.
Speaking after unveiling a large-sized display of the magazine cover, Justice Balakrishnan spoke highly of the authoritative and reliable output of LexisNexis group which includes Butterworths, one of the largest legal publishers with over 180 years of history.
He said the publications were known for bringing out material which was a good source of reference professionals would like to possess and hoped the new magazine would live up to the publisher’s reputation.
”I hope the Monthly will maintain the high standards of Halsbury’s,” Justice Balakrishnan said.
LexisNexis’s Asia managing director John Atkinson told participants that the new venture would focus on such up and coming areas as outsourcing, retail, corporate and cyber laws and intellectual property.
The new publication is the publisher’s first in collaboration with Cybermedia, which already puts out nearly a dozen magazines.
LexisNexis also publish Halsbury’s Laws, The Malayan Law Journal, Mallal’s Digest, Laws of Malaysia, Hong Kong Cases and CaseBase.
Aalok Wadhwa, its managing director for India, said the magazine would orient readers to the growing potential of the corporate legal world in the current socio-economic environment.
In remarks afterwards, Atkinson told UNI that the group’s publications and efforts aim at promoting transparency and efficiency in legal affairs.
He cited how LexisNexis has implemented electronic-filing and electronic-service projects in some parts of the world, such as Colorado and Delaware.
”And it works. We’d certainly like to offer it in India.” Such efforts benefit not just courts, but also law firms by giving them prompt access to data, he said.
Asked whether the Monthly will focus on problems of access to justice or of corruption, Atkinson said initially the magazine expected to focus on such areas as the corporate law, which is a growing entity.
As for what he dubbed ”underlying problems,” he said the magazine has an editorial Board, mostly made up of lawyers, which will take such decisions.
Asked how the Butterworths have been roping in Judges to write for them, Atkinson said it was done as anywhere in the world, by first identifying a subject and then finding out who has the specific experience in that field of law and ask them.
A book assignment usually takes a couple of years to complete, and writers are only paid royalty from sales, he said.