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Understanding the Role of a Freelance Solicitor and the Importance of Professional Indemnity Insurance

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In today’s evolving legal landscape, the concept of the Freelance Solicitor is becoming increasingly prominent. For practising solicitors seeking greater autonomy and flexibility, freelancing offers an attractive opportunity. Practicing as a Freelance Solicitor allows Solicitors to choose their clients, manage their workload, and deliver legal services on their own terms. However, with this independence comes the responsibility of managing your own risks, particularly regarding Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII). In this article, we delve into what it means to be a Freelance Solicitor, the various ways you can practise, and the critical role of PII as per the guidance of the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

What is a Freelance Solicitor?

A Freelance Solicitor is a practising solicitor who operates independently from a traditional law firm setting. Instead of being employed by a single firm, Freelance Solicitors offer their services directly to clients on a contractual basis. This mode of practice allows for greater flexibility, control over one’s workload, and the ability to specialise in their chosen niche areas of law.

Modes of Practice for Freelance Solicitors

Freelance Solicitors can practise in several ways, each with its unique benefits and requirements:

1. Sole Practitioner: Operating under your name without the formation of a legal entity like a Limited Company or LLP.
2. Limited Liability Company (LLC): Establishing a company through which legal services are provided, offering a degree of personal liability protection.
3. Partnerships and LLPs: Collaborating with other professionals to form a partnership or a limited liability partnership, sharing resources and liability.
4. Consultant: Providing specialist legal advice to firms on a freelance basis, offering expertise without permanent employment.

Importance of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

To safeguard their practice and clients, Freelance Solicitors must obtain adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance. PII is essential as it covers legal costs and claims for damages arising from professional negligence, errors, or omissions. Both the Law Society and the SRA emphasise the necessity of having sufficient PII to meet clients’ best interests.

Law Society and SRA Guidance on PII

The Law Society and the SRA provide detailed guidance on ensuring Freelance Solicitors meet the required standards for PII. Here’s a summary of their key points:

Law Society Guidance

The Law Society’s guidance stresses that PII should be “adequate and appropriate” for the scope and nature of the solicitor’s practice. According to the Law Society:

• Solicitors must assess their risks realistically and choose cover limits that reflect the nature and specifics of their work.
• It is crucial to review insurance policies regularly to ensure they remain compliant with the legal requirements and cover any emerging risks.

SRA Guidance

The SRA outlines that Freelance Solicitors must:

• Hold a minimum level of PII as mandated by their rules, which currently stands at a minimum indemnity of £500,000 for any one claim.
• Ensure that the insurance policy covers all potential liabilities that could arise from their practice.
• Understand that while the SRA stipulates minimum requirements, the specifics of a solicitor’s practice might necessitate higher coverage.

Recent Changes and Their Implications

The regulations surrounding Freelance Solicitors have been evolving, with significant changes aimed at enhancing consumer protection and ensuring solicitors have adequate risk management strategies. One notable change is the flexibility around practising structures, making it easier for solicitors to work independently while still adhering to regulatory standards.


For practising solicitors considering the freelance route, understanding the intricacies of Professional Indemnity Insurance is paramount. Adequate PII not only provides financial protection but also enhances client trust and compliance with regulatory bodies. As the Freelance Solicitor landscape continues to evolve, staying informed about regulatory requirements and maintaining robust PII will be crucial for a successful and compliant practice. Freelance Solicitors must assess their level of risk carefully and ensure that the level of cover they carry is adequate, to ensure they and their clients are fully protected.

At Regulated Risks, we specialise in helping legal professionals navigate these complexities, offering tailored insurance solutions that meet your specific needs. For more information on securing the right PII for your freelance practice, please book a discovery call.

We work with firms of all sizes to help them navigate the complex regulatory environment and ensure their compliance.

Book a Discovery Call with us today to discuss your business needs and partner with us for a secure, thriving future.

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