Lawyers, who can you trust with your client’s money?

With banks, insurance companies and financial advisers under the spotlight at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Financial Services Industry, who can you trust to look after your client when they receive a personal injury settlement?

Banks used to be thought of as the safe option, and big brands used to be assumed to be doing the right thing by their clients. Unfortunately, conflicts of interest abound, hidden by a combination of expensive marketing and significant financial complexity.

Thankfully, the lawyers involved in the Royal Commission are bringing important information about how the industry operates to light. Hopefully, no longer will powerful companies be left “alone in the dark with our money”[1]. But structural change may be slow and not as comprehensive as we might wish.

In the meantime, you are best placed to guide your client to safety. Who can you trust? What questions should you and your client be asking? The more you understand the better. Take the time to learn what you need to know. Your clients are counting on you.

Jane Campbell spoke on the topic of "Financial management – What personal injury lawyers need to know" at the Australian Lawyers Alliance National Conference in Melbourne on 20 October 2018.

[1] Counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Michael Hodge QC, in the opening statement to the inquiry's fifth round of public hearings.