• Acting as a filing or record keeping agent
  • Acting as a multi-disciplinary practice (MDP) partner
  • Arbitrator or mediator (includes family dispute resolution professionals)
  • Custodian, practice trustee/attorney, winding up caretaker or locum
  • Executor or personal representative of a deceased, an administrator, an escrow holder, an attorney appointed under a Power of Attorney, a guardian, a trustee, a committee, or in any similar fiduciary capacity
  • Patent or trademark agent
  • Practice in breach of a Law Society restriction
  • Practice outside of BC (includes mobility within Canada)
  • Pro bono services
  • Research
  • Selling real estate

Acting as a filing or record keeping agent

You are covered for mistakes made when you act as an agent for any record keeping or filing duty imposed by statute, provided those services, and the related appointment, are connected with and incidental to your practice of law.

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Acting as a multi-disciplinary practice (MDP) partner

You are covered for mistakes made when you act as a non- lawyer partner in a multi-disciplinary practice, provided those services are supervised by firm lawyers.

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Arbitrator or mediator (includes family dispute resolution professionals)

You are covered for mistakes made while you act as an arbitrator or mediator – including as a family dispute resolution professional.

Policy: Definition of "professional services"

Custodian, practice trustee/attorney, winding up caretaker or locum

You are covered for mistakes made while you act as a custodian or in a similar role under the Legal Profession Act. In addition, if you agree to act as a practice trustee/attorney, winding up caretaker or locum for another lawyer, you are covered for any mistakes you make while providing legal services to that other lawyer’s clients.

Policy: Definition of "professional services"

Executor or personal representative of a deceased, an administrator, an escrow holder, an attorney appointed under a Power of Attorney, a guardian, a trustee, a committee, or in any similar fiduciary capacity

You are covered for mistakes made while you act as an executor, personal representative or trustee or similar fiduciary capacity, if those services, and the related appointment, are connected or incidental to your practice of law.

Policy: Definition of "professional services"

Patent or trademark agent

You are covered for mistakes made while you act as a patent or trademark agent, if those services, and the related retainer, are connected with and incidental to your practice of law.

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Practice in breach of a Law Society restriction

If you make a mistake while practising in breach of a Law Society restriction, the policy will pay the claim. However, if the claim relates to that restriction, you must reimburse us for any indemnity or expenses we pay. 

Policy: Definition of "unauthorized practice"; Condition 3.3

Practice outside of BC (includes mobility within Canada)

The policy generally provides coverage for your practice of any type of law, anywhere in the world. Coverage is excluded if the claim arises out of your permanent practice in another non-Canadian jurisdiction, or if you are practising in contravention of the rules of any other law society or bar, Canadian or otherwise. Learn more.

If you are interested specifically in mobility within Canada, click here.

Policy: Definition of "unauthorized practice"; Exclusions 8; Condition 20

Pro bono services

You are covered for mistakes made when you provide legal services whether paid or pro bono

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Research

As long as you have not claimed an indemnity fee exemption (see below), you are covered for any mistakes you might make in any legal research that you carry out. 

You may choose to exempt yourself from the requirement to pay the indemnity fee if you provide legal research only to indemnified lawyers and have no contact with the clients. Legal research is limited to the provision of summaries or conclusions about the state of the law for the benefit of the indemnified lawyer and incorporation into their work. You cannot claim this exemption if your work product will be seen by anyone other than the indemnified lawyer.

If you choose the indemnity fee exemption but your mistake causes a loss, the policy of the lawyer to whom you provided the research services will pay any claim. However, we will be obliged to look to you for reimbursement as the lawyer who caused the problem. Although we do not receive many reports of claims due to flawed research, you – and anyone else who is vicariously liable for your mistakes – are personally at risk.

Selling real estate

Certain mistakes made while selling property as part of your law practice may also be covered, including a Conveyancing Protocol error.

  • Acting as a bailee (holding personal property)
  • Acting as a conduit for funds
  • Investment advice or services
  • Mortgage brokering services
  • Outside director or officer
  • Publishing or communicating on a website
  • Secondment

Acting as a bailee (holding personal property)

You might hold personal property belonging to your client or a third party in relation to legal or other professional services being provided. If a negligence claim then arises because, for instance, you misplace a share certificate being held, the policy will respond. Occasionally, however, someone will choose a lawyer, rather than a safety deposit box, to protect personal property. The policy provides that a lawyer who acts merely as a bailee is not providing professional services. Therefore, there is no coverage for any claim that might arise.

Policy: Definition of "professional services"

Acting as a conduit for funds 

If you are not providing any legal services to a client who directs a third party to deliver funds to you for deposit into trust, beware. If you later discover that the funds you subsequently disbursed pursuant to your client’s instructions have disappeared as a result of your client’s fraud, you may find yourself a defendant in the litigation that follows – and without any coverage. The policy does not respond if you’ve merely acted as a bank, with no legal reason or purpose to accept or disburse trust funds. Learn more about how to protect yourself from rogues who hope to use your good name – and the apparent safety and credibility offered by your trust account – as a vehicle for money-laundering or to promote fraudulent investment schemes.

Policy: Definition of "professional services"

Investment advice or services

Investment advice or services are not covered, unless they are given because you are already providing certain legal or trustee services. There is no protection available under any circumstances if you provide only investment advice or investment services, including allowing investment funds to flow through your trust account.

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Mortgage brokering services

You are not covered for any services or activities of a mortgage broker.

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Outside director or officer

Your activities as a director or member of a board, council or committee are excluded, although any legal services you provide are covered. The referenced material will help you decide whether or not to accept such a role or, if you do, provide legal advice or services as well. It will also give you information about how to protect yourself, including through the purchase of insurance. 

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"; Exclusion 5

Publishing or communicating on a website

You are not covered for publishing or communicating on a website, blog or social media platform unless directly connected and incidental to your practice of law.

Policy:  Definition of "professional services"

Secondment

As a secondment usually involves a lawyer working temporarily in a role akin to that of in-house counsel, you are generally considered to be a dependent contractor and the professional liability indemnification policy (Part A) will not respond to any claims that may arise.