Already an IBA member? Sign in for a better website experience
The IBA’s response to the situation in Ukraine
The International Bar Association (IBA) Bar Issues Commission Policy Committee and the IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) formed a working group to raise awareness of the concept of professional indemnity insurance in the legal profession and has now published a report to assist bar associations and regulatory bodies in addressing three principal issues relating to professional indemnity insurance:
Professional indemnity insurance is intended to provide coverage for lawyers, and those acting under their direction, for errors and omissions relating to their provision of legal advice and other engagements in the practice of law. However, during research for the new report, IBA International Principles on Professional Indemnity Insurance for the Legal Profession, the Working Group found there to be little global uniformity as to the requirement of a lawyer to hold professional indemnity insurance, and where a requirement does exist, there is no consistency in terms of the extent or scope of the coverage.
Ken Murphy, BIC Chair, remarked: ‘Professional indemnity insurance is highly consequential for everyone involved with the legal profession, but there is comparatively little awareness of the framework or concept at a global level. It is my hope that following the extensive work carried out by the Working Group the principles laid out in this new report will provide bar associations and regulatory bodies with some guidance around the issues involved in professional indemnity insurance.’
Steven M Richman, Co-Chair of the Working Group and BIC Vice Chair, commented: ‘We acknowledge that individual bar associations and regulatory bodies are best placed to assess the needs of their jurisdictions, taking into account their capacity and available resources. However, the core principles of the legal profession are shared across the world, and this report seeks to provide a framework for evaluating the issues surrounding professional indemnity insurance to assist bar associations and regulatory bodies in determining the answers to the questions posed by the report. Special thanks to Anurag Bana of the LPRU for his work on this.'
A 2014 survey undertaken by The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) found that most European countries have mandatory professional indemnity insurance, but within the United States, which is one of the largest legal markets in the world, only two states (Idaho and Oregon) require lawyers to hold professional indemnity insurance. Malpractice insurance is mandatory in Canadian and Australian provinces/states, but far less common across Africa, Asia and South America.
The IBA report outlines a set of eight principles on which bar associations and regulatory bodies should focus when assessing the needs of their jurisdictions on these issues. They are:
The principles are designed to raise awareness of the issues surrounding professional indemnity insurance across global jurisdictions and offer guidance to bar associations considering such issues. The report seeks to provide an analysis of the issues at stake; it therefore does not offer a conclusion in favour of or against mandatory insurance or disclosure.
Notes to the Editor
The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.
For further information please contact:
Romana St. Matthew-Daniel
International Bar Association
5 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1LG
Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax: +44 (0)20 7842 0091
Website page link for this news release:
Short link: tinyurl.com/4wh2cpwf
Full link: www.ibanet.org/New-report-published-IBA-International-Principles-on-Professional-Indemnity-Insurance-for-the-Legal-Profession