I have a bad habit of buying books which cost several hundred dollars each and get overtaken by new editions after a couple of years. I am yet to experience the pain of an expensive text I have bought going into a new edition though, so nascent is my career as a barrister. About this time last year, I had lunch with a judge of the Supreme Court who told me to my absolute astonishment that at the height of his career at the Bar, he spent $80,000 a year on books and reports. That news did me no good at all.
Texts are good, a basic fact of legal life which young lawyers are rapidly overlooking. Without text writers, the law could not possibly survive in its current form. They have an important function. They ignore the bad decisions and explain what the long ones mean.
I picked up most of the library of John de Konig when he retired in June. So I’m seriously well stocked for insurance texts — Sutton’s Insurance Law in Australia, Derrington’s Liability Insurance Law, Kelly & Ball’s Principles of Insurance Law, Mann’s Annotated Insurance Contracts Act, Tarr’s Australian Insurance Law, Clarke’s The Law of Insurance Contracts, Ivamy’s General Principles of Insurance Law, and even Mitchell’s The Law of Subrogation (feel free to come and borrow them).
Recently I picked up a serious text: Ian Enright and Digby Jess’s Anglo-Australian Professional Indemnity Insurance Law, Second Edition, December 2007. It has a green faux leather hard cover with gold lettering. Published by Thomson, it’s almost 1,000 pages long, and retails at $541. It’s a monumental work, the only one devoted exclusively to its subject, and it naturally won the 2008 British Insurance Law Association prize for the most notable contribution to the literature of insurance law for the year. It’s a good book because it achieves one of Enright’s aims, which was to start each topic at the start so as to make it accessible to the non-specialist reader. It is well-organised, and carefully cross-referenced. And it contains lots of answers, which is handy because that’s what I’m in the business of selling. Continue reading “Ian Enright’s Professional Indemnity Insurance Law”