The insurance cover provided by Bar Mutual is set out in the Terms of Cover (reference should also be made to the Rules). The Terms of Cover are reviewed frequently to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of Bar Mutual’s Members.

What is covered?

Bar Mutual provides cover for:

  • Professional negligence claims
  • Complaints of inadequate professional services to the Legal Ombudsman
  • Complaints of professional misconduct
  • Claims by solicitors for lost fees under CFAs
  • Other civil liabilities arising from a self-employed barrister’s practice
  • Applications for wasted costs orders

All cover is subject to the full terms and conditions set out in the Terms of Cover.

A self-employed barrister’s practice means:

  • Supplying Legal Services as a self-employed barrister
  • Supplying Legal Services as a Foreign Lawyer or European Lawyer (when specified in the Cover Note)
  • Acting as an Arbitrator
  • Acting as a Mediator
  • Acting as a Legal Secretary
  • Acting as an Ad Hoc Judge
  • Employment and voluntary work at the Bar Pro Bono Unit, a law centre or legal advice centre
  • Acting as an honorary legal adviser to a charity or Voluntary Association
  • Membership of any disciplinary tribunal or investigation committee
  • Acting as an expert on matters of English law, EU law, public international law, the law relating to international arbitration or transnational law anywhere in the world

Legal Services means:

Legal advice representation and drafting or settling any statement of case witness statement affidavit or other legal document, but does not include:

  • Lecturing in or teaching law
  • Writing or editing law books, articles or reports
  • Examining free of charge newspapers, periodicals, books, scripts and other publications for libel, breach of copyright and contempt of court
  • Communicating to or in the press or any other media
  • Exercising the powers of a commissioner for oaths
  • Giving advice on legal matters free to a friend
  • In relation to a barrister or Registered European Lawyer who is a director of a company or a trustee or a governor of a charitable benevolent or philanthropic institution or a trustee of any private trust, giving to the other directors trustees or governors the benefit of his learning and experience on matters of general legal principle applicable to the affairs of the company institution or trust

Who is covered?

As well as insuring self-employed barristers, entities, Registered European Lawyers and Foreign Lawyers, Bar Mutual’s Terms of Cover extends cover to clerks and pupils.

Jurisdictional ambit of cover

Provided the Terms of Cover are engaged, Bar Mutual provides cover for claims brought anywhere in the world.


Claims and complaints that are not considered to be mutual risks.  Some examples are below, but reference should be made to Bar Mutual’s Terms of Cover for the full list of exclusions:

  • any costs and expenses incurred without the prior written consent of Bar Mutual
  • any award requiring repayment, reduction or waiver of any fees in whole or in part ordered by the Legal Ombudsman, and any order in any court proceedings brought to enforce payment of any such award
  • any fine ordered by the BSB or any panel established under the provisions of the BSB Handbook
  • Claims or Disciplinary Proceedings against which the Insured is entitled to be indemnified under any other insurance, but only to the extent that the Insured is entitled to be and is so indemnified
  • Claims or Disciplinary Proceedings arising out of any dispute between present or former members, pupils, Clerks or Employees of Chambers or any Entity or any Free Legal Advice Centre in respect of ownership, occupation, possession, management or administration of the Chambers or any Entity or of any property used in or for the purposes of the Chambers, any Entity or any Free Legal Advice Centre or the Insured Practice
  • Claims or Disciplinary Proceedings arising out of or in any way in connection with the provision of Legal Services in a system of law and/or in a jurisdiction where such Legal Services may not be provided without authorisation and the Insured is not authorised to provide such Legal Services in that system of law and/or in that jurisdiction by either a competent professional, judicial or other body, unless the Insured has reasonable grounds for not having obtained such authorisation.
  • Claims or Disciplinary Proceedings arising out of any criminal offence committed or allegedly committed by the Insured or out of an enquiry conducted by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs into the Insured’s tax or VAT affairs
  • any regulatory investigation, hearing, examination, inquiry or like proceeding by the Information Commissioner’s Office (or equivalent body in any jurisdiction) or any fines or penalties imposed or levied against the Insured as a result of a Cyber Act or a Cyber Incident;
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