If you have questions that are not answered below, or if need further clarification or information, please contact LAWPRO®'s customer service department toll-free at 1-800-410-1013, 416-598-5899 or at [email protected].
The Law Society of Ontario mandates that all LAWYERS of the Law Society of Ontario who are providing "professional services" purchase standard liability insurance coverage through LAWPRO, in accordance with By-Law 6 of Section 2(1) of the Law Society Act. Specifically, the By-Law states:
"Unless otherwise exempted, every LAWYER of the Society who is eligible for coverage under the Society's insurance plan and who engages in the practice of law during the course of any year shall pay insurance premium levies for that year..."
If you are going to practise after your call to the bar, please complete a
New Applicant Application form and submit it to LAWPRO for processing.
If you will not be practising immediately after your call, you must complete an
Application for Exemption.
Please note that you must wait until you receive your LSO number before you can submit your application for insurance or application for exemption form. For more information see the New calls section of this website.
To qualify for an exemption, you must be eligible for and maintain your insurance for a period of not less than thirty consecutive days.
This requirement is pursuant to the LAWPRO policy, Part IV, Condition N (Cancellation and Exemption). The policy provides
for a prorata adjustment of premiums subject to a minimum premium or adjustment equal to 30 days premium for each period of practice or exemption. On this basis, the policy prima facie requires that 30 days full premium be applied for (in your particular instance) the period beginning July 5. In this example therefore, premiums would be owed by the LAWYER for the period after they left the firm to fulfil the 30-day requirement. If eligible, the LAWYER may then claim exemption under the program after the 30-day period of coverage.
Ontario LAWYERS who are called to the bar and have been in practice less than one year are entitled to a 50 per cent
discount off the base insurance premium. LAWYERS who restrict their area of practice to criminal and/or immigration law are entitled to a 50 per cent discount off the base insurance premium. However you would not be entitled to an 100 per cent discount, as the maximum combined discount allowed (for the new practitioner discount, the restricted area of practice discount or the part-time discount) is 50 per cent.
If you are hired to work as a law clerk, legal assistant or other support staff member; are not held out to be acting as a LAWYER to clients or the public (on letterhead or business cards); and are acting under the supervision of an INSURED LAWYER, you may be eligible for exemption from requiring professional liability insurance.
To maintain this exemption status, you must ensure that:
your name not appear on firm letterhead as a LAWYER;
any business card you have makes no reference to you as a LAWYER;
you are not held out to be acting as a LAWYER in any expressed or implied terms; and
your employer confirms to LAWPRO in writing that you, the member, have been hired in the capacity of a "non-professional" support staff member (in your case, a law clerk), that you will not be held out to be acting as a LAWYER to clients or the public, and that you will be acting under the supervision of professional staff members.
As well, you must ensure that all activities you engage in are consistent with other tasks delegated to "non-lawyer"
staff members. As in any situation involving "non-professional" support staff members who assist LAWYERS in the provision of
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, you must act under the
instruction and supervision of a LAWYER staff member who will be accountable for the discharge of your responsibilities.
No. Even though you are a recent call in Ontario, you previously practised law for many years in another jurisdiction. The "new call" discount is available to Ontario LAWYERS based upon the whole of their past years in private and/or public practice, regardless of jurisdiction. Although recently called LAWYERS tend to represent a lower risk so are offered this premium discount, those who are new to practice in Ontario but practised extensively in other jurisdictions in past, are often up to speed faster, handling larger and more complex files with commensurate claims exposure, and perhaps even bring clients and files from past.