The Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund NPC (AIIF) (registration number 93/03588/08) is a non-profit short-term insurance company. The company is an insurer licenced in terms of the Short-term Insurance Act 53 of 1998 and regulated by the Financial Services Board (FSB).
The Board of Control of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund (AFF), acting in terms of sections 40A and 40B of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979, established the AIIF in 1993 as the company through which professional indemnity insurance and certain bonds of security will be granted to practising attorneys. (Section 77 of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 confers similar powers to the AFF’s successor in title, the Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund (LPFF)).
The AIIF provides a primary layer of professional indemnity insurance to all practising attorneys in South Africa. The AIIF also provides bonds of security to attorneys appointed as executors of deceased estates. The provision of the professional indemnity insurance and the executor bonds are granted in terms of two respective policies issued by the AIIF. The preamble to the Master Policy sets out the mission of the AIIF as follows:
“The Attorneys Fidelity Fund, as permitted by the [Attorneys] Act, has contracted with the [AIIF] to provide professional indemnity insurance to the Insured, in a sustainable manner and with due regard for the interests of the public by:
- protecting the integrity, esteem, status and assets of the Insured and the legal profession;
- protecting the public against indemnifiable and provable losses arising out of Legal Services provided by the Insured, on the basis set out in [the] policy.”
Currently, the AIIF is funded by way of a single annual premium paid by the AFF for and on behalf of all practising practitioners. Members of the legal profession must, however, take note that the AIIF funding model will be changing in the near future and practitioners will be called upon to make a contribution to the premium funding paid by the AFF to the AIIF. Joint communication in this regard will be distributed by the law societies (or their successors in title), the AFF and the AIIF in due course.
The board of directors of the AIIF is made up of ten (10) members appointed by the AFF. The AIIF board is constituted by directors with a wide variety of educational and work backgrounds, including legal, insurance, finance and general business.