E&O Insurance >FAQS>LAWYERS not in private practice FAQs
LAWYERS not in private practice FAQs
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].
Whether or not you are exempt depends on the terms of your present employment. Generally, to be eligible for exemption,
you must be employed by a single employer and can be providing
only to the employer - in this case the organization that has retained you on contract, as well as any affiliated,
controlled or subsidiary companies.
However, if your contract requires that you provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
to your employer's customers or clients, you are deemed to be providing PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
in private practice and must pay the insurance premium.
Among the criteria that LAWPRO would consider in determining if you are eligible for an exemption are:
whether or not you work a fixed number of hours,
whether you are compensated on a fee-for-service or fixed amount basis,
whether or not you are provided an office in the place of employment.
Generally, contract employees who work on a fee-for-service basis and/or work irregular hours are not eligible for exemption. Please contact LAWPRO Customer Service for assistance in determining your eligibilty.
Whether or not you qualify depends largely on the nature of your work product and who is likely to see or use it. If you work in a firm environment and do legal research exclusively, do not provide any legal opinions but merely a statement of the law, do not meet or correspond with any firm clients, and if none of your work is provided to clients or others outside of the firm, you are in LAWPRO's opinion acting as a resource only to the firm LAWYERS and would qualify for an exemption.
If you provide freelance work to one firm or more, you would require coverage.
Most LAWYERS who provide research services however do in fact provide opinions that are subsequently provided to clients of the law firm; these LAWYERS would be considered to be practising law and would be required to pay the insurance premium.
Effective January 1, 2003, LAWYERS who provide pro bonoPROFESSIONAL SERVICES
through approved programs associated with Pro Bono Ontario may have limited insurance coverage for such services.
LAWYERS who claim an exemption, and also provide approved PRO BONO SERVICES
through an approved pro bono program associated with Pro Bono Ontario, will have insurance coverage as follows:
Their standard run-off insurance coverage of $250,000 per claim/in the aggregate will include coverage for their approved
PRO BONO SERVICES,
even though the work is provided while exempt under the program; and
They will NOT be required to pay any deductible amount for claims relating solely to such services.
For any other pro bono work
With the exception of the foregoing, LAWYERS who qualify for and claim exemption from paying insurance premiums do NOT have
liability insurance coverage for any legal work that they provide while they are exempt. As an exempt LAWYER, you have only
Run-Off Insurance Coverage (with limits of only $250,000 per claim and in the aggregate) for
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES you provided before becoming exempt.
In other words, if you provide pro bono work to individuals or organizations other than through an approved pro bono
program associated with Pro Bono Ontario, the LAWPRO insurance program would not cover you if a claim against you arises
out of such work. You would be responsible for all defense and indemnity costs associated with that claim.
As well, to maintain your exemption and do pro bono work, you must meet the following conditions:
the organization benefiting from the pro bono work must be a not-for-profit organization;
you must be providing pro bono work specifically for the organization, and not for any individuals in that organization or its clients. For example, a LAWYER volunteering for a women's shelter can be counseling only the shelter organization itself, and cannot be acting for any of the individuals who use that shelter.
LAWYERS who act for any of the individuals in an organization or for the organization's clients are considered to be
practising law in private practice, and would no longer qualify for an exemption from paying the insurance premium.
LAWYERS who are exempt should also note that if they provide pro bonoPROFESSIONAL SERVICES for a for-profit organization,
they no longer qualify for an exemption as they are considered to be practising law in private practice. In other words,
if you are doing work that you simply are not billing for (e.g. providing
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to family, friends, companies
on a pro bono basis), you do not qualify for an exemption and must pay the insurance premium.
For details, please contact the LAWPRO Customer Service Department at 416-598-5899 or 1-800-410-1013 or [email protected].
Exemption (c) is available to any LAWYER on a temporary leave of absence for a period of not more than 5 years if taken for reasons of family or illness, or not more than 2 years if taken for other reasons. However, exemption (c) is only available to a LAWYER who is insured under the primary LAWPRO Professional Liability Insurance program, and is not available to LAWYERS who have never been insured under such program or are currently on exemption (a), (b), (d) (e) or (f).
If you were to provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
to your employer's clients, this would fall into the category of third party legal advice and you would need to maintain
insurance coverage. These clients would be considered unrelated third parties and therefore, any advice or
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES you provide to them would not
be deemed services to your employer or a related company. As those PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
are outside the scope of the corporate counsel exemption, you would be required to obtain professional liability insurance.
You may qualify for the Part-Time Practice Option, which provides
for a 40 per cent premium discount. As corporate counsel, these criteria would apply only to the
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES you provide to unrelated
third parties. If you are currently on exemption (e) and wish to put professional liability insurance in place, please complete a
New Applicant Application form.