Bar Mutual provides professional indemnity insurance to self-employed barristers in England & Wales.

All self-employed barristers are required by the Bar Standards Board to purchase their primary layer of professional indemnity insurance with Bar Mutual and Bar Mutual is obliged to provide them with professional indemnity insurance. Bar Mutual also provides professional indemnity insurance to single person entities that have been authorised by the Bar Standards Board and, on a discretionary basis, multi-person entities and alternative business structures that have been authorised or licensed by the Bar Standards Board.

Bar Mutual provides comprehensive professional indemnity insurance cover and an excellent claims handling service.

As a mutual insurance company owned by its members, one of Bar Mutual’s central objectives is to provide professional indemnity insurance at a price that is fair and reasonable. Generating profits for distribution to shareholders is not one of its objectives.

Control of Bar Mutual’s affairs rests with its Board of Directors. The Board is composed of non-executive self-employed barristers and two executives (the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer).  The Board is responsible for setting Bar Mutual’s strategies and policies and overseeing the performance of the executives.

The day to day management of Bar Mutual, its executive functions, are outsourced to Thomas Miller Professional Indemnity Limited, a subsidiary company of Thomas Miller Holdings Limited, under a management agreement.

The Insurance Provided by Bar Mutual

The policy of insurance provided by Bar Mutual indemnifies its Members for (i) Claims made against them in respect of civil liabilities, (ii) the costs of defending such Claims and (iii) the costs of defending Disciplinary Proceedings in certain circumstances. 

Bar Mutual’s key insurance documents are its Rules and Terms of Cover.  The Rules explain the rights and obligations of Bar Mutual membership; the Terms of Cover contain the terms of the contract of insurance between Bar Mutual and its Members.

Both documents are available on the following link.

Bar Mutual and Brexit

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded on 24 December 2020 did not include a provision allowing insurance firms based solely in the United Kingdom to provide insurance services in EU Member States.  Bar Mutual’s ability to continue to provide professional indemnity insurance to some of its Members based in EU Member States may therefore be affected.  Any Member based in an EU Member State is invited to contact Bar Mutual to check the insurance position.  Please write to

Extension of Cover

Pursuant to Bar Mutual’s objective to continually meet the needs of its Members, Bar Mutual widened its Terms of Cover in 2021 to include an indemnity for the costs of dealing with Hamid Proceedings or any judicial process brought against its Members.  The basis on which an indemnity will be provided in respect of Hamid Proceedings or any judicial process brought against the Member is subject to Bar Mutual’s full Terms of Cover.  The change can be found in definition of Disciplinary Proceedings.

Bar Mutual fact file

Bar Mutual fact file

  • Bar Mutual was established in 1988.
  • Bar Mutual insures over 14,000 self-employed barristers and Bar Standards Board-regulated entities.
  • The minimum level of cover provided by Bar Mutual is £500,000 plus defence costs, each and every claim.  The maximum is £2,500,000 plus defence costs, each and every claim.
  • All Members of Bar Mutual renew their professional indemnity insurance on 1 April each year.
  • Premiums are transparently set in accordance with a rating schedule published each year in advance of the renewal.
  • Calculation of the premium payable by each Member results in an automatic limit of cover, as shown in the table below. Higher limits of cover up to £2,500,000 can be purchased for an additional premium.
Basic ContributionAutomatic Limit of Cover
£100 - £399£500,000
£400 - £599£1,000,000
£600 - £799£1,500,000
£800 - £999£2,000,000
£1,000 plus£2,500,000

Contact us now to find out how we can help.

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The Thomas Miller Group, including all owned and managed businesses, has implemented a personal data governance framework and operating model to ensure compliance with the requirements of the GDPR. For more information, please visit Bar Mutual’s Privacy Policy.

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