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Australian Bushfires

Australian Bushfires

The catastrophic bushfires which have devastated many parts of rural and regional Australia have now reached unprecedented levels. There has been tragic loss of lives, properties and livelihoods, and the danger has not yet passed. Our thoughts are with all communities impacted by the bushfires, many of whom face significant challenges.

The scale and reach of the bushfires means that many solicitors have been impacted in some way, either directly affected, with offices and/or files destroyed, or with family members or communities affected.

During this difficult time, Lawcover wishes to reassure affected solicitors that any issues relating to their professional indemnity insurance will be dealt with promptly and efficiently.

Insurance queries

  • I am unable to access my office/my office has been destroyed. Will my Lawcover professional indemnity (PII) policy remain valid for 2019/20?

    Yes, your Lawcover PII policy remains valid until 30 June 2020.

  • If I am the subject of a claim but my file/s have been destroyed, can I still notify a claim?

    Yes, you can still notify a claim even if you do not have all the details and we will endeavour to assist you to collect alternative methods of evidence in the defence of the claim, where required.

  • If I am unable to practice due to the loss of my office and/or files, how do I renew my PII policy for 2020/2021?

    If you are able to estimate any potential Gross Fee Income (GFI) from work you consider you will be able to do in the coming financial year, you should disclose that on your PII proposal form, when renewal opens in April 2020. Your annual premium will be calculated on that basis and until you are able to better estimate your annual income.

If you need assistance in relation to the assessment of your GFI or find yourself in financial hardship, please call our Insurance Services team on 1800 650 748 or email insuranceservices@lawcover.com.au

Other support and assistance

The Law Society of New South Wales has issued a Response to the NSW Bushfires which provides details of assistance available for solicitors impacted by the bushfires, or those wishing to provide pro bono, or humanitarian assistance.

For those solicitors whose practice has been destroyed or damaged in the fires, the Law Society, in association with Lawcover, can assist in relation to:

  • Trust accounting
  • Professional support for loss of files; and
  • Professional support in costs, ethics and regulatory compliance for any affected legal practice.