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E&O Insurance >Practice Type >Acting as a LOCUM

Acting as a LOCUM

As LOCUM you are standing in for another LAWYER to cover or run the other lawyer's law practice while away. In this replacement capacity you are considered a member of the firm that has hired you (the contracting firm) and should expect to be viewed as such by clients and others. Insurance requirements, options and coverages all need to be reconsidered in this light.

If you are acting as LOCUM
You are responsible for ensuring that you have in place E&O insurance protection with appropriate coverage options that reflects your LOCUM work, as well as your own law practice that you may still be conducting.

Some issues to consider include:
1. Your current insurance coverage and options under the Law Society program

  • Do the practice and coverage options in place for you under the program still apply? If you opted for the Restricted Area of Practice option but your LOCUM work is not confined to only criminal and/or immigration law, you no longer qualify for this practice option.
  • If you had qualified for the Part-time Practice option, but now will be working full-time (whether as a LOCUM for a single LAWYER, or for more than one LAWYER, in addition to your own personal law practice), you need to have this coverage option removed before practising on a full-time basis.
  • If your LOCUM work is to include the practice of REAL ESTATE LAW, you need to apply for and be granted the Real Estate Practice Coverage Option.

2. The need for Innocent Party Coverage under the Law Society program
If you are standing in for a LAWYER in an association, partnership or LAW CORPORATION with more than one LAWYER, you must carry at least the minimum $250,000 per CLAIM/aggregate Innocent Party sub-limit protection. This is even if you otherwise maintain a personal law practice as a SOLE PRACTITIONER.

If other LAWYERS in the firm have bought up their Innocent Party protection, you must carry at least that same amount of increased Innocent Party protection. LAWPRO strongly recommends that the LOCUM, as well as LAWYERS in the contracting firm, apply for the full amount of Innocent Party protection available to ensure that they are well protected against CLAIMS that may arise out of dishonest acts.

If a CLAIM does arise in relation to LOCUM work, it is the LOCUM's policy coverage under the Law Society program that would respond.

3. The need for Excess Coverage
LAWPRO's optional Excess program automatically extends coverage to LOCUMS and LOCUM work under the excess policy issued to the contracting firm. But not all excess insurers may do so.

Firms purchasing excess insurance from other insurers are strongly encouraged to obtain written confirmation from their excess insurer that the LOCUM and contracting firm are both insureds under any excess policy issued, and that coverage is fully afforded in relation to LOCUM work that has or may be done.

If you are the contracting firm hiring a LOCUM
In the eyes of the client and others, you can anticipate that the LOCUM will be seen as acting as a member of the contracting firm. It is important that the contracting firm ensures that the LOCUM maintains program protection and coverage options that are consistent with both the LOCUM work and the coverage of the firm's other lawyers.

Firm LAWYERS should keep in mind the following: limit protection for a claim made against the LOCUM would not be increased by virtue of the program coverage maintained by other LAWYERS in the contracting firm; partners in the firm could find themselves responsible for paying the LOCUM's program DEDUCTIBLE; and no protection is available in respect of allegations of damage to the goodwill and reputation of the firm. As well, the aggregate limit protection provided to LOCUMS could also be eroded by CLAIMS that are not related to LOCUM work.

For more information on insurance coverage for LOCUMS, please contact the LAWPRO Customer Service Department.

Key DatesMore

September 15, 2017
File your LAWPRO Risk Management Declaration by this date to qualify for the $50 premium discount on your 2018 premium for each LAWPRO-approved CPD program (to a maximum of $100) completed by this date.

On or about October 2, 2017
LAWPRO online filing of Professional Liability Insurance renewal applications for 2018 is expected to begin. If you wish to file a paper application instead of filing online, please note that paper renewal applications will not be automatically mailed out, but it is expected that you will be able to download a 2018 pre-populated paper renewal application from our website starting on or about October 2, 2017.


 

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