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E&O Insurance >Practice Type >Government LAWYERS & Educators

Insurance for government LAWYERS, educators and LAWYERS working in legal aid clinics funded by Legal Aid Ontario

 

By-Law 6 of the Law Society Act requires that all Ontario LAWYERS who practise law in Ontario pay the insurance premium annually, to ensure they have malpractice coverage in place.

However, certain categories of LAWYERS can apply to exempt themselves from paying this premium.

Eligibility If you are employed in government, education or in a legal aid clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario.

For detailed information on the criteria that apply to government LAWYERS, educators and LAWYERS in legal aid clinics, see Exemption Eligibility.
Coverage

Maximum of $250,000 per claim/in the aggregate Run-Off Coverage for claims brought against you, as defined in the LAWPRO® Policy.

Please note that there is no coverage for PROFESSIONAL SERVICES provided during any period of exemption. The only exceptions to this are with respect to PRO BONO SERVICES provided through an approved pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES program associated with Pro Bono Ontario; certain mentoring services provided pursuant to LAWPRO-approved risk management protocols; and/or certain services as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, or attorney for property, where coverage has been separately applied for and granted. For more information, beyond that provided below, please contact LAWPRO Customer Service.

pro bono
If you provide pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES through an approved program associated with Pro Bono Ontario, you would continue to be eligible for exemption. You would also have Run-Off Coverage for your approved pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. For details, see pro bono.

If you provide pro bono work for not-for-profit organizations (not associated with Pro Bono Ontario), you may continue to qualify for exemption. For details see pro bono.

Premium None
To apply To be eligible for exemption (and qualify for no-charge Run-Off Coverage), complete the Application for Exemption form:
Options to increase coverage limits Depending on your needs and situation, you can enhance your insurance coverage in several ways:
  • Increased Run-Off Coverage protection: To increase your Run-Off Coverage protection, and/or purchase expanded coverage for certain services yet to be performed as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, or attorney for property;
  • Excess Insurance: For an additional layer of protection above $1 million per claim/$2 million aggregate coverage
  • Standard coverage program: $1 million per claim/$2 million aggregate coverage
 

Are you exempt?


Government LAWYERS, educators
To qualify for exemption, you can provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES only to your EMPLOYER, as defined under the exemption. You cannot be providing PROFESSIONAL SERVICES in private practice. For example, you would not be able to advise one of your employer's clients about a will or estate matter, undertake litigation for a family friend, or provide real estate-related services to anyone but your own employer.

If you also provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to your EMPLOYER's customers or clients, or to organizations outside the "employer group", you are deemed to be providing these services in private practice and are no longer exempt from having to pay the premium.

As well, if you provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to any other individuals, including family, friends or associates (even on a pro bono basis) you are considered to be in private practice, and must pay the insurance premium.

If you do not qualify for the exemption, but your private practice of law is less than 20 hours per week, you may qualify for the part-time practice premium discount.

If you plan to act as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, or attorney for property, you will want to consider the practice implications described in LAWYERS acting as estate trustee.

LAWYERS employed or volunteering in legal aid clinics
The nature of their work requires that LAWYERS employed or volunteering in legal aid clinics provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to clients within the employer group. These LAWYERS would continue to qualify for exemption.

However, if you also provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to third parties outside the employer group (such as employer's clients outside the employer group, family, friends or associates, even if on a pro bono basis), you are considered to be in private practice. You would not qualify for exemption and would be required to pay the LAWPRO insurance premium as required by the Law Society.

LAWYERS acting as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, or attorney for property
As you wind down your private law practice, it may be that you are named or act as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust or attorney for property, even though the rest of your practice is being turned over to one or more LAWYERS who remain in private practice.

If so, you can expect to have certain obligations to the Law Society, even though you may not be required to pay the Law Society's annual fee, including:

  • having to declare to the Law Society such trusteeships or powers of attorney when you change to a non-practising status; and
  • having to file the appropriate exemption forms each year with LAWPRO to confirm that you continue to be exempt from the payment of insurance premium levies.

The criteria under which a government LAWYER, educator or LAWYER working in a legal aid clinic, who continues to act as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust or attorney for property, can apply for exemption from payment of insurance premiums and levies, are fully set out in Exemption Eligibility.

Interpreting the exemption
This exemption is available to you, regardless of whether you are acting on a single trusteeship or power of attorney, or a number of trusteeships or powers of attorney.

However, this exemption may not apply to every instance in which you act as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, and/or attorney for property.

For example, your role as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, or attorney for property, must be residual work from your past practice in Ontario, which would not be the case where you have been named as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust or attorney for property only after leaving private practice.

As well, this exemption would not apply to any trusteeship or attorney for property, where you have been named or are acting in respect of a member of your own family. So, for instance, this exemption would not apply to a LAWYER who has never been in practice and acts as estate trustee for a family member. For this purpose, members of the LAWYER'S own family means "related persons" as defined under section 251(2) of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

If these are the only types of occasions in which you have been named or act as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust, or attorney for property in relation to your work as a government LAWYER, educator or LAWYER working in a legal aid clinic, you would not elect exemption on the basis of eligibility rule (h). Instead, you would simply look to apply for exemption on the basis that you are employed in government or education, or are working or volunteering as a LAWYER in a legal aid clinic, as described more fully in the Exemption Eligibility.

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Key DatesMore

April 30, 2017
Real estate and civil litigation transaction levies and forms are due for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

April 30, 2017
Exemption forms from lawyers not practising civil litigation or real estate and wanting to exempt themselves from quarterly filings are due.

July 31, 2017
Real estate and civil litigation transaction levies and forms are due for the quarter ended June 30, 2017.


 

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