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Notify us of a potential claim
Bar Mutual’s dedicated team are here to assist when you have a situation which you consider could lead to a professional indemnity claim being made against you.
Your Policy entitles you to an indemnity from Bar Mutual in respect of compensatory claims made against you for civil damages or wasted costs and the legal costs of defending such claims.
The limit of cover in your certificate of insurance will determine the maximum sum Bar Mutual can pay for any claim and the indemnity for defence costs is in addition to your limit of cover.
Dealing with your notification
Each claim has a designated in-house claims handler. Our claims handlers are all legally qualified and have considerable experience of dealing with claims against barristers and defending disciplinary proceedings. Most claims are handled in-house, but solicitors are instructed where proceedings are issued and for claims above a certain financial threshold.
Our general approach to dealing with claims is to try to take an early view on the merits of the claim, which in turn will inform the approach we suggest be taken in dealing with the claim. Our general approach, however, is to refuse to agree payments on meritless claims.
The impact on you
This may be the first time your professional ability or conduct has been formally impugned, and facing a professional negligence claim or defending disciplinary proceedings can be acutely stressful.
It may assist to know in an average year Bar Mutual receives around 670 notifications.
Claims can be made, and are made, against any barrister, regardless of seniority, practice profile, and most importantly of all, ability. We will endeavour to minimise the anxiety having to respond to claims can cause. We recognise, however, that it is sometimes beneficial to have contact with third parties.
Bar Mutual makes an annual charitable contribution to Wellbeing at the Bar and should you wish to speak to them, please see their contact details.
If you have obtained insurance above the £2.5m maximum available from Bar Mutual (“excess insurance”), pursuant to your excess insurance policy you will need to notify those insurers of claims that fall within the notification requirements of your excess insurance policy.
After you have made the first notification, and if panel solicitors are instructed to act for you, we will keep your excess insurance brokers informed of material developments.
Finally, if there are any issues you wish to discuss with us or anything that is unclear in the course of dealing with the claim against you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.