A guide to commercial legal protection
What is commercial legal protection?
If you're no legal eagle, then keeping track of legislation can make your brain hurt. And if you're ever embroiled in a legal dispute – whether pursuing or defending a claim – it can be stressful and costly.
Our commercial legal protection can alleviate some of this stress. Covering you for legal costs incurred – solicitors, barristers and expert witnesses for example – you'll also receive day-to-day access to legal advice and tools. Making dealing with complex legalese that bit easier.
Underwritten by DAS, the market leader in specialist commercial legal protection, our cover includes free access to our expert tax advice helpline, DAS employment manual and DAS BusinessLaw online database. So whenever your brain starts hurting, you'll have help at hand.
Commercial legal protection guide
Who is commercial legal protection for?
Commercial legal protection can be particularly useful for small businesses who lack specialist legal expertise in-house. It is sold as an added benefit to any of our policies, providing peace of mind that you have legal support whenever you need it.
What support does it give?
It's inevitable that most companies will require some kind of legal counsel at some stage. If and when you do, you'll want to know that you're covered.
Commercial legal protection can support your business in several areas, including:
- Tax, VAT and HMRC: if your business comes up against a tax issue, or receives an enquiry from HMRC, you'll have access to an expert tax helpline, which can provide guidance and peace of mind. Our covers also provides protection if the issue becomes complex and costs mount up as well as cover for VAT disputes, HMRC compliance issues and IR35 legislation.
- Employees: you'll gain access to the DAS employment manual – a comprehensive day-to-day guide to best practice – and DAS BusinessLaw, which helps you create and download your own legal documents. These documents can answer your regular contract and procedure questions while our cover provides protection for legal expense and compensation costs for employee legal issues, such as unfair dismissal.
- Court: Court proceedings can drag on and end up being very expensive. Commercial legal protection can cover court fee payments and attendance costs, as well as charges for a lawyer's help.
- Taking legal action: your business and workspace needs to be safe, for you, your employees and clients, and anyone else involved. If a situation comes up, such as damage caused by trespassers, and you need to take action, commercial legal protection can cover the associated costs.
- IR35: legal expense cover can provide protection when dealing with the HMRC and disputes that arise from IR35.
What is an example of commercial legal protection?
There are hundreds of examples of how legal protection can come into play, but here’s a real-life one.
Let’s say your business hires a freelance designer for a seasonal marketing campaign who delivers their artwork in the wrong format with the original files deleted. Along with the obvious headache, this could end up being an expensive mistake for you and everyone involved, with delays to the campaign and profit losses. Depending on the level of damage, you may need to seek a court dispute resolution.
In this case, commercial legal protection could kick in to cover you for court and other associated costs, while giving you support through a helpline.
Things you can do
With legal expertise on hand it's much easier to avoid expensive claims – helping you to dot the i's and cross the t's in all your business interactions. To reduce the risk even further try to stay up-to-date with the laws and regulations affecting your business. And if you're not sure – ask! Nobody can be an expert in everything, so seek specialist help if you need it.
What to watch out for
Our commercial legal can only be bought alongside another business policy, such as public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance or employers' liability insurance. It cannot be bought on its own. Also, bear in mind that it won't cover your business for compensation costs resulting from a claim against you, so you may need additional cover for this.
Our insurance 101 guides answer more of your insurance questions.
What is public liability insurance?
If your business interacts with anyone who isn't an employee, you might to seriously consider PLI.
What is professional indemnity insurance?
Sole traders and businesses that offer advice and consultancy could benefit from PI.
What is employers' liability insurance?
Employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement for anyone who hires employees.