FAQs – Solicitor Premiums
Search for frequently asked questions on LPLC solicitor premiums. Click on the question below to view answer.
If I pay the premium applicable to a criminal advocate, cost consultant or mediator can I do work in other areas?
If you wish to do any work in an area other than criminal advocacy (even if a one-off matter), you need to contact the LPLC to arrange cover under the standard policy and payment of the applicable premium. All practitioners within your practice will be subject to payment of the additional premium.
Consultants are treated as employees for the purpose of professional indemnity insurance. The firm will receive a pro rata refund for the difference between the contribution for a principal and the contribution for an employee solicitor. The firm will then continue to pay an employee contribution for you each year.
As a consultant you may still retain your full practising certificate, but you will need to contact the LPLC to be registered as a sole practitioner; you will also be required to pay the nominal premium applicable to a practitioner wishing to hold a full practising certificate and earning NIL fees in private practice.
If you intend to practice as a locum, you should take out a full practising certificate and apply for a reduced contribution if your estimated earnings, excluding earnings in a true temporary locum tenens situation (where you are replacing a principal or employee practitioner during temporary absence) are below $128,500 per annum.
You only get a refund if they leave to go to a firm or an organisation not insured with LPLC.
If you are not replacing the employee, it is up to you to negotiate with the employee’s new employer regarding reimbursement for the time they are with the new firm until the end of the insurance year. In turn, you are not required to pay a further premium for any employee solicitors that you employ after the assessment date.
The full employee contribution is not payable by both employers of the shared employee. An adjustment should be made between yourselves so that only one employee contribution is paid.
What if I am a low fee earner or starting up a practice for the first time where I employ other practitioners?
A reduced premium scale is available to low fee earners. This scale is set out in the premium structure section above. The scale is restricted to sole practitioners without employee practitioners and whose gross fees do not exceed $128,500 per annum.
Practitioners making application for reduced contributions will in all cases be required to make an estimate of their gross fees for the 12 month period, the estimate being checked by the requirement of a statutory declaration as to the gross fees earned during the preceding six months. Gross fees for that period will be assumed to be a true indicator of the total figure for the 12 month period and the contribution will be adjusted up or down accordingly.
If you are starting up practice for the first time, and you start with a partnership of, say, two or three partners for the first year of practice, LPLC will allow each partner to apply for the reduced premium contribution according to what they think they will earn in gross fees for the year.
Yes. A refund is applicable so long as you are retiring from private practice and do not maintain your practising certificate.
Do I have to pay any extra premium if one of my employees changes status to a partner during the insurance year?
Yes. Any employee who changes their status to that of a principal will need to have their insurance upgraded to principal level. This will require the difference in the premium between an employee and a principal to be paid.
This is calculated on a pro rata basis taking into account what has already been paid as an employee, provided the employee levy has been paid by you. The reverse applies if one of the principals retires, and is then employed as a consultant and wishes to change his or her practising certificate to an employee certificate.