SIF has three distinct roles:

  • It provides indemnity to all firms of solicitors in private practice in England and Wales against claims arising from professional negligence from 1 September 1987 until 31 August 2000, when SIF entered into run-off
  • It provides run-off cover to all practices that ceased without a successor prior to 31 August 2000
  • It provides Expired Run-Off cover (commonly referred to as post six year run-off cover) to firms that have ceased without successor since 1 September 2000, but only after the primary run-off period of 6 years (as provided by the firm’s last market insurer) has elapsed.

Claims under the first two of these headings may continue to be made without limit of time. However, extended run-off cover will only be provided in respect of claims that have been made and intimated to SIF by 30 September 2021. After that date, no Expired Run Off claim will be provided with indemnity out of the Fund.

Details of the scope of cover provided by SIF in relation to the Expired Run-Off can be found at Rule 8.5 of the SRA Indemnity Rules 2012.

When a claim is notified, whether by a prior principal of a ceased practice or directly by a claimant, SIF investigates the claim. SIF only has power to settle claims where the ceased practice is legally liable to the claimant. SIF’s investigation will try to find out:

1) Was the practice negligent and
2) Did the claimant suffer loss as a result and
3) Is the ceased practice legally liable to the claimant?