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Barrister Professional Indemnity Insurance: A Must-Have for Legal Practitioners

By Maria Hickey on January 3rd, 2024

Operating a legal practice involves inherent risks. Claims of professional negligence can arise, even when barristers act responsibly and ethically. Without the correct insurance, such as barrister insurance, claims could devastate your finances.

Professional indemnity cover offers a safety net, protecting your assets and practice against costly claims. It covers legal costs to defend claims and financial damages if you are found liable.

For barristers and legal teams, having adequate professional indemnity insurance is an absolute must. 

Understanding Barristers’ Liability Risks

As legal services professionals, barristers face various liability exposures:

  • Breach of Duty – If clients allege you failed in your professional duty and this caused them harm.
  • Negligent Advice – If your counsel, contracts, statements or other advice is deemed incorrect or inadequate.
  • Confidentiality Breaches – Disclosing private client information without permission.
  • Defamation – False or misleading statements that damage a person or company’s reputation.
  • Plagiarism – Using someone else’s original written material without proper credit or permission.
  • Loss of Documents – Mishandling, misplacing or improperly securing client documents.

With large damages often claimed, even one lawsuit for professional mistakes can be financially devastating without insurance. This is why indemnity coverage is so crucial.

Key Features of Barristers’ Professional Indemnity Insurance

While details vary between policies, well-structured professional indemnity policies often include:

Legal Defence Costs

Covers lawyers’ fees and court costs to defend against allegations of professional negligence. Defence bills often exceed damages.

Damages and Compensation

Pays client financial awards if found negligent, up to the policy’s liability limits. This includes breach of contract damages.

Privacy Protection

Covers the costs of privacy and confidentiality breaches. Pays client compensation, credit monitoring services, regulatory fines and public communications costs.

Defamation Coverage

Protects against libel, slander and defamation of character claims. Pays client damages and legal expenses.

Document and Data Replacement

If important documents or data are lost, damaged or destroyed, it covers restoration costs plus client compensation for any resulting extra expenses they incur.

Fraud and Dishonesty Protection

If employees commit fraud or dishonest acts, the insurance will cover the resulting financial losses.

Past Claims Protection

Covers claims arising from services provided in previous years of practice. Offers protection even after retirement.

Choosing Appropriate Cover Limits

A common mistake is failing to carry enough indemnity insurance to fully protect your practice. Considerations when setting coverage limits include:

  • Your Asset Value – Factor in the total value of assets you need to protect from potential legal judgements.
  • Damage Costs – Account for the size of recent awards against barristers in negligence cases. 
  • Defence Costs – Legal representation is expensive. Include adequate coverage for proceedings, which can drag on.
  • Industry Norms – Talk to professional groups to understand what limits are typically carried in the legal industry to protect practices.

Buying just the minimum required coverage often leaves barristers underinsured. Discuss appropriate limits with your provider to protect your livelihood.

Secure Your Practice with Brisco’s Barrister Insurance

Barristers offer valued guidance and legal expertise to their clients. However, they also take on significant professional liability risks with the services they provide. From a single negligence lawsuit to data privacy infractions, substantial financial and reputational consequences await those without adequate insurance.

At Brisco Business, we’re highly experienced in protecting legal professionals. Our barrister Professional Indemnity insurance is designed to provide robust, comprehensive protection.

We make securing coverage easy through quick online quotes and personal guidance at each step of the process.

Protect against the real risks legal practitioners face in today’s operating environment. Reach out for a free quote and to speak with a specialist about your unique barrister insurance needs. Don’t leave your practice and assets vulnerable when accessible coverage options exist.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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