Guidance is set out below on what to do or what happens with a Member’s 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 and his or her personal representatives will be protected by Bar Mutual in the same way as the barrister was before death.
Unless expressly agreed by Bar Mutual and recorded in a Cover Note, Claims or Disciplinary Proceedings arising from the supply of Legal Services as a Foreign Lawyer is not covered under the Terms of Cover. A Foreign Lawyer is defined as a person who is a member of a legal profession outside England and Wales, is entitled to practice in that jurisdiction and the practice is not incidental to their practice in England and Wales.
There is no need to apply for separate cover for work undertaken as a self-employed barrister in a jurisdiction outside England and Wales if the barrister’s practice in the foreign jurisdiction is incidental to his or/her practice in England and Wales and the barrister is entitled to practise in that jurisdiction (subject to any formal local requirements in that jurisdiction as to call or certification).
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.
Where a Member has ceased practice temporarily or reduced the amount of time given to practice by reason of pregnancy or childbirth or in order to care for his or her own children below school age, he or she will be entitled to increase his or her limit of cover to the same limit he or she had previously been provided with without having to pay any additional premium.
If you are moving chambers, please 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 work, Licensed Access work and Conduct of Litigation
Bar Mutual’s cover automatically applies to public access and licensed access work where the self-employed barrister or (in the case of an entity) the fee-earner undertaking the work on behalf of an entity 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 self-employed barristers commence practice on their own behalf after completing pupillage, they must complete and return the Application for Membership and Insurance Form.
Every retired self-employed barrister is entitled to £500,000 of cover free of charge for as long as Bar Mutual continues to provide professional indemnity insurance to the self-employed 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. Please complete and return the Application for Membership and Insurance Form.
There are no special arrangements for academics and door tenants. As a general guide, all barristers who hold themselves out as being able to 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.
Subject Access Requests
Bar Mutual should be notified if a barrister receives a Subject Access Request and the circumstances suggest that there is, or could be, a claim for civil compensation or civil damages arising from the legal services the barrister provided. In such circumstances, and subject to the full terms and conditions set out in Bar Mutual’s Terms of Cover, Bar Mutual may be able to assist the barrister in dealing with the Subject Access Request.