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E&O Insurance >Practice Type >Retired LAWYERS and Judges

Insurance for retired LAWYERS, estate trustees, emeritus LAWYERS, judges and others no longer practising law

 

By-Law 6 of the Law Society Act requires that all Ontario LAWYERS who practise 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

LAWYERS who are fully retired from the practice of law, estate trustees, emeritus LAWYERS, judges, and others no longer practising law.

For detailed information on the criteria that apply, 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
LAWYERS retiring from practice with LAWYER "emeritus" status will be insured for their approved pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES provided through a LAWPRO-approved pro bono program associated with Pro Bono Ontario as follows:

  • They will be provided with the standard Run-Off Coverage of $250,000 per claim/in the aggregate for their approved PRO BONO SERVICES, even though the services are provided while exempt under the program; and
  • They will NOT be required to pay any deductible amount for any claims relating solely to such PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.

LAWYERS otherwise are not insured under the program for any pro bono or other PROFESSIONAL SERVICES provided while claiming exemption under the program on the basis of eligibility rule (a) not practising law.

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 Eligible LAWYERS must file an 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: $1 million per claim/$2 million aggregate coverage
 

Non-practising LAWYERS
The exemption criteria make it clear that, to qualify for an exemption, you cannot engage in the practice of law in Ontario. Essentially, 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 are a judge, or are fully retired from the practice of law, you need not purchase the standard insurance program coverage, and need not pay the insurance premium.

If you provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to others such as family, friends or associates, even if on a pro bono basis, you are in fact considered to be providing PROFESSIONAL SERVICES in private practice. You would not qualify for an exemption, and would be required to pay the LAWPRO insurance premium as required by the Law Society.

As well, in situations where you are retired as a LAWYER but are acting as a mediator, arbitrator, immigration consultant or are otherwise providing services that are often but not exclusively provided by LAWYERS, it should be absolutely clear to clients and others that you are not providing these services as a LAWYER. If you do provide these services in your capacity as a LAWYER, you are considered to be providing PROFESSIONAL SERVICES in private practice and must pay the insurance premium.

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

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 wound down or turned over to one or more LAWYERS who remain in 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 upon retirement (or 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 retiring LAWYER 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.

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 in retirement, as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust or attorney for property.

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 retirement, 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 not engaged in the practice on law in Ontario, as described in Exemption Eligibility.

Clinics funded by Legal Aid Ontario
Retired LAWYERS who are interested in volunteering in legal aid clinics may apply to exempt themselves under the insurance program, provided they meet the exemption criteria for LAWYERS working or volunteering in legal aid clinics, as described in the Exemption Eligibility.

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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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