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Professional indemnity insurance and in-house solicitors

4 November 2019

The information on this page is provisional and will be updated by the end of March 2020 to reflect new PII guidance.

Solicitors have an obligation under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Indemnity Insurance Rules to have qualifying professional indemnity insurance (PII) at all times.

This usually only applies to solicitors in private practice, but sometimes it can also apply to solicitors working in-house.

Working only for your employer

If you’re an in-house solicitor working only for your employer, you do not need PII.

Liability is covered by your employment contract and is your employer’s responsibility.

Working for clients other than your employer

Rule 4.1 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules prevents in-house solicitors acting for clients other than their employer except in certain circumstances. These circumstances are set out in rules 4.4 to 4.26.

If you’re working for other clients, you might need to have PII in place depending on what kind of work you’re doing.

When you need PII

You must have PII cover if you provide any of the following services to a client other than your employer:

Your PII cover must be reasonably equivalent to that required under the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules.

For more information about PII and how to get it, read our practice note

When you do not need PII

You might not need PII cover if you act for any of the following clients, but you should check that the relevant indemnity insurance rules apply to your situation:

If your in-house practice is overseas, see rules 4.22 to 4.25.

If you do not need your own PII cover, you must make sure your employer has appropriate cover that’s reasonably equivalent to that required under the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules. If it is not, you must inform your client in writing that you are not covered by the compulsory insurance scheme.