If you hold a self-employed practising certificate, you must be a member of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF). The only exception is where we have previously granted you a waiver from the requirement to be a member of BMIF on the basis that you are only practising in another jurisdiction and fully insured there. Insurance premiums must be paid promptly to the BMIF together with such information as the BMIF may require.

You should be aware that we check our records against the records of the BMIF to verify individual declarations and we will take appropriate action in cases of non-compliance.

BMIF is required to provide insurance which at least meets the minimum cover outlined in our Minimum Terms of Cover for Self Employed Barristers.

In light of publication of our updated guidance on social media and conduct in non-professional life, the BMIF would like to warn barristers that you are not insured against any consequences of expressing a personal opinion to the media or on social media (ie Twitter/X, Facebook and other social media platforms) about matters which do not arise out of or are not in any way in connection with your Insured Practice. The Bar Mutual Terms of Cover use the same definition of “Legal Services” as appears in Part 6 of the BSB Handbook, and that definition is central to the definition of “Insured Practice”. Expressing personal opinions in this way are therefore not the provision of Legal Services or part of your Insured Practice.

Our requirements in respect of professional indemnity insurance, including the minimum terms, are concerned with ensuring consumer protection, specifically that there is adequate cover for liabilities which BSB regulated persons may incur to their clients or other parties to whom they may owe duties when performing their legal services. However, the BSB Handbook does not require BSB regulated persons to carry insurance for other types of liability, which do not relate to their liabilities towards consumers, nor are the minimum terms concerned with this type of liability. For example, the minimum terms require you to have insurance which covers third party losses in the event of a cyber incident, but it does not require you to have a separate policy which covers your own (“first party”) losses in such an event. You should assess your level of risk in this area to determine whether such protection is necessary.