Article and photos by Shamine Parisamy, Legal Risk Junior Counsel, Bar Council Professional Indemnity Insurance and Risk Management Department
On 18 Oct 2018, the Professional Indemnity Insurance (“PII”) and Risk Management Deapartment, under the direction of the PII Committee, organised the “Risk Management for Staff” workshop, which was held at the Abdullah A Rahman Auditorium, Johore Bar Committee Building.
Out of the 32 participants who attended the workshop, most of them were staff from law firms, and 10 were Members of the Bar.
Richard Wee Thiam Seng of Messrs Mah Weng Kwai & Associates started the workshop with his session entitled “Communication: Connecting People”. He highlighted the risks involved when communication goes wrong. To demonstrate this, he referred to the facts of the case of White v Jones  2 AC 207, where a testator’s instruction to the lawyers to prepare a new will was not acted upon on time. When the testator died without the new will, the new intended beneficiaries of the testator were left out.
He emphasised that the key to being an effective communicator is to listen in order to understand, and not to listen to reply.
The scheduled session entitled “Accounting with Integrity” had to be cancelled as the speaker, Heron Khalid Goh, was unable to attend the workshop. Participants were informed that a replacement session will be held in November 2018.
Next was the session by Mohamad Ezri Abdul Wahab of Ezri Law Firm, on “Office Administration: Ace It!”. Ezri reminded participants how self–grooming plays an important role when it comes to cultivating confidence among front–line staff. He then explained the essentials of having an efficient system of office administration in law firms, and surmised that only this will lead to outstanding performance at work.
After lunch, I presented the last session for the day — entitled “Risk Management: Productivity” — where I explained how risks in law firms can be minimised by fostering a harmonious understanding between staff and lawyers. This way, both sides will be more responsible with their duties, and will hence be able to perform better together. I then conducted case studies with the participants in groups of eight. I spoke on the risks that are involved in each case study, and participants had to identify the risk management procedures and policies that could be implemented to avoid such risks from happening. A representative from each group came on stage and shared the group’s findings, which showed that the participants were all on the right track towards minimising risks at work.
The Risk Management for Staff workshop is a good platform for office managers, paralegals, secretaries, staff of law firms, and support staff who aspire to excel in their work performance. They stand to gain knowledge in an engaging atmosphere with good speakers. The feedback forms indicated that participants would recommend this workshop to others.
If you would like to attend the next Risk Management for Staff workshop, please contact the PII and Risk Management Department by telephone at 03–2032 4511 or by email at email@example.com.