It is common practice for some insurers to tell their insured that they must use a panel solicitor, even where it is apparent that the legal issue is not covered by the policy. This is a lie; Some insurers insist that non-panel solicitors enter an agreement with them which makes the average commercial lease look like The Dandy. I have seen one (32 pages of close-typed script) where the terms to which I was asked to agree would have placed me in a situation where I would have been in breach of my duty to the client; Some insist that the insured incur an ‘up front’ uninsured cost (such as counsel’s advice) before they will instruct a non-panel solicitor. I noted the items in the Gazette of 7 October relating to referral fees and legal expenses insurance. There are some insurers with whom it is a pleasure to work. However the behaviour of others does give cause for concern. For example: Howard Shelley, Bilston, West Midlands The only reason that I can think of for such dubious tactics is to force the client to choose a panel solicitor and secure referral fees for the insurer. Whether you advocate or oppose referral fees (I am opposed), such unsavoury tactics must be addressed by the Legal Services Board.