The call from the Association of Consulting Engineers to change the laws relating to joint and several liability is a bold move (2 April, page 50) – even though such a bid to reduce the costs of professional indemnity insurance would not alleviate high premiums in the short term.
As you rightly point out, the current situation discriminates against firms irrespective of blame, often making them responsible for failings of third parties over which they have no control. I therefore welcome the proposals by ACE. While they will not avoid claims, they will make the system of allocated liability fairer.

Fairer apportionment could flush out the poor risks from the industry as the bad get worse and the good get better. Although not an immediate given, the prospect of fewer "distressed" firms operating should produce lower premiums in the long term. The premium rises PI has experienced and the increasing number of cover limitations are largely the symptoms of a hard insurance market. Nevertheless, our industry is guilty of applying a broad brush in response to the rise in claims resulting from poor risk management in some firms – and the construction industry has suffered more than most.