Commercial Business

Increasing Government legislation and alternative ways of conducting tax investigations by the Revenue Commissioners are placing heavy burdens on businesses nationwide.

Small to medium-sized enterprises are unlikely to have the in-house resources to deal with these and are consequentially most at risk. Commercial legal expenses insurance policies which protect against the cost of potential commercial legal disputes, provide the legal advice and representation businesses need to minimise their exposure to these risks.

Keeping up to date often requires the help of a lawyer. This is exactly where the benefits of legal protection policies kick in. 

Standard covers also generally include:

  • Tax Protection
  • Employment Disputes and Compensation Awards
  • Legal Defence
  • Property Protection cover
  • Helplines, including Legal Advice, Counselling, Health & Medical

Optional additional benefits are available including Contract Disputes, Debt Recovery and Statutory Licence

Case insight - Employment Disputes

An employee resigned her position and then made a claim of sexual discrimination against her former employer. The employer's legal expenses insurers appointed a solicitor to represent them at the Employment Tribunal. Despite their successful defence, they incurred legal costs of €4,500 which could not be recovered. The costs were paid by the legal expenses insurer.

Case insight - Legal Defence

When a policyholder failed to report an accident to the Health & Safety inspector, they faced prosecution. Solicitors appointed by DAS to represent them advised admitting their guilt, but pleaded mitigation on their behalf. The policyholder was let off with a caution and their insurer paid the solicitor's fees.

Case insight - Employment Disputes

An incorrect return discovered by the Revenue Commissioner in a policyholder's accounts triggered a Full Audit. Accountants appointed by the legal expenses insurer made technical changes to the accounts and showed where some areas of additional taxes needed paying. No further interest or penalties were charged. The accountant's fees of over €4,000 were paid by their insurance.

Enhanced employment related risk management products

Larger businesses often need more than the standard commercial legal expenses protection. Some providers have responded by bringing out products combining legal expenses cover with risk management tools. These involve a specialist employment consultant auditing their business to ensure that they are following best practice, combined with enhanced commercial legal expenses cover providing greater protection against a wider range of employment related disputes. This risk management principle builds on the efforts by insurers to minimise claims against their policyholders by the provision of legal helplines and online support.