LawWorks, a charity which enables access to justice through free legal advice, has set up a professional indemnity insurance (PII) scheme to protect lawyers working on a voluntary basis.

Solicitors who are members of LawWorks can apply to be covered by the free PII cover when they are working on pro bono projects approved and registered by LawWorks.

LawWorks says that projects can take many forms, including work for charities or community organisations, work from pro bono referral schemes, law firms’ own pro bono programmes or stand-alone legal cases.

To benefit from the free PII cover, solicitors need to complete an application form and submit it to Law Works for approval.  Lawyers can only access the scheme where no other PII insurance is available.

The PII scheme will also cover solicitors working on LawWorks’ virtual advice clinic, ‘Free Legal Answers’.  This additional service, which is being piloted by LawWorks, allows users to log into the system to ask a legal question or describe a legal problem and receive advice.

We’re hopeful this means insurance will not be a reason why pro bono projects cannot be started,” Martin Barnes, LawWorks chief executive, told the charity’s Clinics Network Conference in Birmingham.

The legal profession has a long and honourable tradition of providing its services to those in need free of charge,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions. “This scheme will give solicitors who are members of LawWorks the reassurance that they are fully protected should something go wrong.”

Details of the PII scheme are available on the LawWorks website.  A news report about the launch has been published by the Law Society Gazette.

Brunel Professions is a leading provider of PII insurance broking to the legal profession. To find out more call Mark Sommariva on 0203 475 3275.