Solicitors indemnity fund

Published 24 October 2019 | Updated 30 June 2020

Solicitors Indemnity Fund – post six years indemnity cover

The Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF), run by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited (SIFL), was established to provide compulsory professional indemnity cover for law firms.

Following a Board decision in June 2020, SIF will cease providing supplementary run-off cover to firms that have closed, or will be closing, without a successor practice on 30 September, 2021. Any claims made against firms after this date and outside of the six-year run-off period will not be covered. They will also not fall within the remit of the Compensation Fund.

SIFL will continue to manage historic and run-off claims. SIFL will also continue manage any supplementary run-off cover claims which it has been notified of prior to 30 September 2021.

Any solicitor whose firm might be closing or has closed, should consider the arrangements they might want to put in place for any claims made after the six-year run-off cover provided by their insurer ends.

It cannot be assumed that all claims will or have been made in the first six years after a firm closes. Affected solicitors might want to consider contacting professional indemnity providers, not limited to our participating insurers, to discuss their options, the work that might need to be covered and the terms on which cover might be available.

What SIF currently does

SIF is run by Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited (SIFL) and underwrites 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 2021, after the run-off cover in the SRA's minimum terms and conditions has expired (supplementary run-off cover).

This 'supplementary run-off cover' referred to above is not provided in accordance with the SRA's minimum terms and conditions (MTCs) and neither is it a requirement that we impose on closing firms or solicitors through the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2013.

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 SIF or any of the decisions made relating to its claims management function. SIF, 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