Solicitors indemnity fund

Published 24 October 2019 | Updated 23 August 2021

Solicitors Indemnity Fund – post six-year run-off cover

The Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF), run by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited (SIFL), has been extended for a further year.

The extension was due to end on 30 September, 2021, however we have decided to extend this by a further year in order to allow consultation on the future of post six-year run-off cover. The extension was subject to an affordability test because the fund was, in economic terms, deemed beyond the time when a conventional insurance company would have taken steps to bring its operations to a close.

Arrangements have now been put in place to allow the fund extension, This means that SIF will continue to provide post six-year run-off cover for claims against firms which have closed without a successor practice until September 2022. It will also continue to manage any post six-year run-off cover claims which it has been notified of prior to 30 September 2022.

The further extension to September 2022 will allow us to hold a full public consultation on next steps to agree a long-term position. Existing work to explore the options for winding up the SIF will continue, given the issues about its ongoing affordability.

What SIF currently does

SIF is managed by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited (SIFL) and indemnifies the following exposures:

  • claims made during the period a law firm was covered by the SIF master policy
  • claims made after 31 August 2000 by law firms that closed, without a successor practice, which relate to work done whilst the firm was covered by the SIF master policy, and
  • claims, made between 1 September 2007 and 30 September 2022, after the run-off cover in the SRA's minimum terms and conditions has expired (expired run-off cover).

This 'expired run-off cover' referred to is not a requirement that we impose on closing firms or solicitors through the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules.

As claims managers, it is for SIFL to consider whether there has been a demand for, or an assertion of a right to, civil compensation or civil damages or an intention to seek such compensation or damages by a claimant that they need to respond to.

We do not regulate SIFL or any of the decisions made relating to its claims management function. SIFL, in any particular case, has the sole and absolute right to decide in which way or combination of ways indemnity is provided.

Further information on this is available from our Professional Ethics helpline