Guidance is set out below on what to do or what happens with your insurance in certain special circumstances. Please contact us if you need further information.


Bar Mutual should be told about the death of any practising or retired self-employed barrister as soon as practicable. There is no charge for six years' run-off cover at the limit pertaining at the time of death (up to £2,500,000) and the barrister's estate will be protected by Bar Mutual in the same way as the barrister was before death.

Foreign Practice

To obtain cover for foreign practice Members should tick the box on the Renewal Form and complete the separate Foreign Cover Form. Foreign Cover is only available to self-employed barristers who are qualified to practise in that other system of law.

There is no need to apply for separate cover for work undertaken as a self-employed barrister in another common law jurisdiction if a Member's profession as a self-employed barrister entitles him to practise in that jurisdiction (subject to any formal local requirements in that jurisdiction as to call or certification).

Insured Practice

Members are automatically covered for acting as Arbitrators and Mediators. Members who act as Arbitrators and Mediators but do not wish to have this cover should not declare their income from such activities in the Renewal Form.

Insuring for the first time

Complete and return the Application for Membership and Insurance Form.  This should be done before commencing work as a self-employed barrister, as it is a Bar Standards Board requirement that self-employed barristers should be entered as Members of Bar Mutual.

Long term illness

Bar Mutual recognises the difficulties faced by barristers returning to practice following a long-term illness.  Bar Mutual tries to be as accommodating as possible to ensure that Members have appropriate protection at reasonable cost while they rebuild their practice.  As all individual circumstances are different, Members need to speak to the Managers to agree the best way forward in their individual circumstances.

Maternity leave

Where a Member has left practice temporarily or reduced the amount of time given to practise by reason of pregnancy or childbirth or in order to care for her own children below school age, she will be entitled to increase her limit of cover to the same limit she had previously been provided with without having to pay any additional premium.

Moving Chambers

Complete and return the Barrister Movement Form. Premiums and cover are not affected, but it is important that Bar Mutual’s records are up to date.

Public access and licensed access work

Bar Mutual’s cover automatically applies to public access and licensed access work where the self-employed barrister has undertaken whatever training is required in accordance with Bar Standards Board requirements.  Members should declare the percentage of their fees earned from these types of work in the Renewal Form.


Pupils are insured under their pupillage supervisor’s policy. The same terms, conditions and limits of cover apply to the insurance provided to the pupil.  As soon as barristers commence self-employed practice after completing pupillage they must complete and return the Application for Membership and Insurance Form.


Complete and return the Barrister Retirement Form. 

Every retired self-employed barrister is entitled to a minimum of £500,000 of cover free of charge for as long as Bar Mutual continues to provide professional indemnity insurance to the practising Bar as a whole. 

Members who have been provided with cover in excess of £500,000 in any of the three years of practice preceding their retirement can opt to purchase six years’ run-off cover at the highest limit of cover maintained during that period. This cover costs 75% of the average annual premium paid during that period.

Retired barristers wishing to maintain higher limits of cover after the first six years of run-off cover can renew at the same limit of cover for three-year tranches. The premium payable for this cover is 20% of the premium paid for the first six years’ cover.

Squatters, Academics and Law Reporters

Anyone practising as a self-employed barrister must take out insurance with Bar Mutual as soon as their pupillage finishes, regardless of whether they have secured a tenancy. Complete and return the Application for Membership and Insurance Form.

Special arrangements are made for academics and door tenants. Please Contact Us in each case. As a general guide, all barristers who supply Legal Services to the public as self-employed barristers with a Practising Certificate must be insured by Bar Mutual.

Law Reporters have been exempted by the Bar Standards Board from the requirement to insure with Bar Mutual.

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