Professional Services on Behalf of the Named Insured

Professional Services On Behalf of the Named Insured, that term or similar term is in most, not all, but most lawyers malpractice insurance policies.  It is intended to limit the policy coverage to lawyers in the law firm that are providing legal services to clients of the law firm only. Keep in mind that the name of the law firm is usually the name of the Named Insured listed on the policy.  

This term usually is a good thing for the law firm in that it does limit the exposure and coverage to the law firm business.  It can however be quite a surprise to any firm lawyers working outside the law firm in a “side” venture and moonlighting situation.  The policy will not cover professional services performed for anyone that is not a client of the Named Insured/Law Firm.  

There are instances where lawyers have worked in a law firm and also maintain a solo part time law practice away from the law firm.  Thinking that they had malpractice insurance coverage with the law firm, did not bother to purchase a separate policy for their part time solo work.  They did not realize they had no coverage until they were sued for work performed in their part time solo capacity.  Ouch!  That is a hard lesson.  

This situation can also occur if when working in a firm the lawyer agrees to provide legal service for a friend or family member and doesn’t run the business through the firm or sign the client up as a client of the firm.  

So check who is the Named Insured on your legal malpractice policy.  Make sure it is correct, again it is usually the name of the law firm. Be certain that all lawyers in the firm know that they are NOT or may not be covered by the law firm policy for legal services they perform for others who are not client’s of the firm.