Interpreting the exemption
In-house corporate counsel
To qualify for an 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 paying 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 practice of law is less than 20 hours per week, you may qualify for the part-time practice premium discount.
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 an in-house corporate counsel, 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
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 only 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 in-house corporate counsel, 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 as in-house corporate counsel, as described more fully in the