The Scheme Insurance is arranged on behalf of each practising member of the Law Society by the Council of the Law Society (the “Council”), pursuant to their statutory powers under section 75A of the Legal Profession Act. The Council negotiates the coverage and policy wordings.
It was introduced in April 1991 to ensure that every lawyer had a minimum insurance coverage before he commenced to practise law. The Legal Profession Act requires that every year when a lawyer applies for a licence to practise law (which is called a “practising certificate”); he must satisfy the Council that he has applied for and obtained the required insurance cover under the Scheme Insurance.
A brief description of the Scheme Insurance is set out below.
If you as a client of a lawyer or as a third party wish to know whether you can make a claim against a lawyer, a law practice or its employees for any act or omission on the part of any one of them, please obtain legal advice. Please take note that neither the Council, its Secretariat nor the Scheme Insurer(s) or the appointed Scheme Insurance Broker is in a position to provide such advice.
The amount of cover under the Scheme Insurance
The Scheme Insurance provides insurance cover of S$1 million for each and every claim (inclusive of costs and expenses) for lawyers who practise in sole-proprietorships and partnership law practices, and S$2 million for each and every claim (inclusive of costs and expenses) for limited liability law corporations (LLCs), limited liability law partnerships (LLPs) and the lawyers who practise in such law practices.
The coverage under the Scheme Insurance
The Scheme Insurance covers every lawyer, LLC and LLP against civil liability that may arise from any act or omission on their part (individually or otherwise) in carrying out their practice as advocates and solicitors and other incidental roles.
The Scheme Insurance covers all employees of the law practice including foreign lawyers employed by the practice.
The Scheme Insurance also covers liability of law practices arising from the dishonesty of employees (employee lawyers and non-lawyer employees) up to the full limit of cover applicable to the law practice concerned under the Scheme Insurance.
What is not covered under the Scheme Insurance?
The Scheme Insurance does not cover any loss caused by the fraud or dishonesty of any sole-proprietor, partner or director of any law practice.
The Council administers a Compensation Fund that provides a discretionary grant to reduce or mitigate losses caused by the dishonesty of a lawyer or an employee of a law practice. Every lawyer in practice contributes a sum of $100 per year to the Compensation Fund.
Click here for information of when and how a person can apply for a grant from the Compensation Fund.
Who can claim the benefit of the Scheme Insurance?
The benefit of the Scheme Insurance is claimed by the members of the Law Society who are in practice or have been in practice as they are the insured.
A claim is made by the lawyer or LLC or LLP by giving written notice to the Scheme’s policy insurer(s) through the Law Society’s appointed Scheme Insurance Broker.