Queensland Law Society

Professional Indemnity Insurance Questionnaire

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact QLS’s Records and Member Services using the contact details at the bottom of this page.

Check if you are logged in with your QLS firm number, and you have not logged in using your personal member log on details. If you continue to encounter problems, contact the QLS's Records and Member Services team.

Your law practice’s log on contains eight digits. Check you are using your QLS firm number (included the leading zeros) and not using your personal member log on details. If you continue to encounter problems contact QLS’s Records and Member Services.

You need to contact QLS’s Records and Member Services team to ensure the required regulatory processes have been complied with. In addition, your practice will have a new QLS firm number and password - you need to contact QLS’s Records and Member Services on 1300 367 757 or via email at records@qls.com.au to obtain the updated details.

You should also refer to the information sheet, “Information Sheet - Buying Selling Dissolving or Otherwise Modifying Law Practices” available on Lexon’s homepage (http://www.lexoninsurance.com.au/) after logging on using your personal member number (and not the QLS firm number used for the questionnaire). You should contact Lexon if any of the criteria in relation to prior law practice/successor law practice could apply or you have any other query in relation to potential insurance implications.

Yes – in the past some practices that have indicated they will cease prior to year-end have not finalised all the requirements to allow the practice to close. To ensure you can continue to practise, this information will be required. The information is also used in an aggregated form to allow for analysis of the profession.

You should also refer to the information sheet, “Information Sheet - Buying Selling Dissolving or Otherwise Modifying Law Practices”, available on Lexon’s homepage (http://www.lexoninsurance.com.au/) after logging on using your personal member number (and not the QLS firm number used for the Questionnaire). You should contact Lexon if any of the criteria in relation to prior law practice/successor law practice could apply or you have any other query in relation to potential insurance implications.

Should you have any general queries regarding your law practice’s Professional Indemnity Insurance please contact Lexon. For all other queries, refer to the table below before contacting either QLS or Lexon.

Questionnaire section

Section details

Contact

General

Completion within timeframes

QLS

1a

Trading names

QLS

1b

Prior law practice

Lexon or QLS

2

Contact details

QLS

3

Staff numbers and stamp duty

QLS - staff numbers

Lexon - stamp duty

4

Gross fee income

Lexon

5

Areas of practice

Lexon

6

Enhanced Management Review (EMR) Program

Lexon

7

Risk alert

Lexon

8 Foreign law
Lexon
9 Top up insurance
Lexon or QLS

10

Declaration

Lexon or QLS

PII Questionnaire reference

Term

Definition

Note 1: Prior Law Practice

Prior Law Practice

  1. A Law Practice (the "First Law Practice" - which shall include all predecessor practices determined as Prior Law Practices) which is a predecessor to a Law Practice (the "Successor Law Practice") which Successor Law Practice:
    1. holds itself out as being the successor to the First Law Practice, or as incorporating the First Law Practice, where the holding out can be express, implied or contained in any letterhead, note paper, business card, any form of electronic communication, publications, promotional material or is contained in any statement or declaration by the Successor Law Practice to any regulatory or taxation authority, or;
    2. employs, or takes on as Principals, all or a majority in number of the Principals of the First Law Practice; or
    3. acquires the majority of the goodwill and/or assets and/or client files, or assumes the majority of the liabilities of the First Law Practice; or
    4. adopts the same name as the First Law Practice or a name which is similar to or substantially incorporates that name; or
    5. carries on business from the premises of the First Law Practice; or
    6. employs the majority of legal staff employed or previously employed by the First Law Practice.
  2. Where there are two or more Law Practices which meet the criteria in (1) for a Successor Law Practice, that Law Practice which Lexon considers, by application of these criteria to be most closely related to the First Law Practice, shall be deemed to be the Successor Law Practice.
  3. Provided however, this Prior Law Practice definition does not apply to:
    1. a Law Practice that employs a sole practitioner in circumstances where that Law Practice does not adopt the business name, occupy the premises or acquire any goodwill, assets, client files or assume any liability of the sole practitioner's practice;
    2. a Law Practice which only receives, for no consideration, documents formerly held in the safe custody of another Law Practice; or
    3. any First Law Practice which was last insured for professional indemnity liability by an entity other than Lexon.

Note 2: Meaning of Gross Fee Income - what you need to disclose

Gross Fee Income (GFI)

Gross Fee Income (GFI) is defined (and calculated) as:

  1. including all professional fees, remuneration, commission, internal costs and disbursements charged to clients and income of any kind received by the Law Practice in connection with legal services;
  2. including all income derived directly from any entity other than the Law Practice by any service, administrative or nominee company or trust in so far as the income arises from activities carried out in connection with the practice of a Law Practice;
  3. excluding the reimbursement of third party disbursements;
  4. excluding any applicable goods and services tax;
  5. where the Law Practice is affiliated with any member services organisation and provides legal services to members either free of charge or at non-commercial rates, then the GFI referable to such work shall be deemed to be three times the combined remuneration (which, for this purpose, shall mean salaries and/or consultancy fees received for services provided in relation to the member services organisation) of the principals, employed solicitors, consultants, articled clerks, trainees and paralegals retained by, or who provide services through, that Law Practice; and
  6. where services are performed that could be performed by someone other than a solicitor (for example a tax agent, cost assessor, patent attorney etc), the fees in relation to this work shall be included in the GFI where the services have been performed subject to a client/solicitor retainer (or where the client would reasonably assume they were obtaining legal advice). If the services performed are not subject to the above, the fees can be excluded from the GFI declared (noting that coverage under the policy will not be available).

Note 3: Staff Numbers and Stamp Duty

Staff Numbers and Stamp Duty

For the purpose of assessing the stamp duty payable by Lexon in each Australian jurisdiction, you are required to state the number of persons working for the Law Practice in each State or Territory.

All persons employed or engaged, in any capacity, and whether part time or full time, by the Law Practice and by service entities, companies and trusts associated with the Law Practice, including:

  1. principals, legal practitioner directors;
  2. consultants; and
  3. both legal and non-legal staff.

Staff numbers are as at 1 February 2019. When completing the relevant sections, you should make reference to the below:

  1. a principal includes every practising practitioner who is, or is held out to the public as a principal/legal practitioner director in a Law Practice.
  2. staff employed or engaged in the business of the Law Practice for less than twenty (20) hours per week shall be recorded as one half of a staff number (being 0.5 for number purposes).
  3. a paralegal is a person who is not a qualified solicitor or barrister, and undertakes substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and legal procedures.
  4. staff employed or engaged in the business of the Law Practice shall include staff employed by the Law Practice and by service entities, companies and trusts associated with any Law Practice.

Note 4: Areas of Practice

Residential Conveyancing

Where the predominant feature of the matter concerns issues with the conveyance of residential property including:

  • drafting of a conveyancing agreement;
  • advice on relevant terms of a conveyancing agreement;
  • performance of a conveyancing agreement (such as giving notice, exercising an option, attending settlement etc).

Commercial Conveyancing

Where the predominant feature of the matter concerns issues with the conveyance of commercial property including:

  • drafting of a conveyancing agreement;
  • advice on relevant terms of a conveyancing agreement;
  • performance of a conveyancing agreement (such as giving notice, exercising an option, attending settlement etc).

Other Property Related Transactions

Including those where the predominant feature concerns:

  • leases (landlord and tenant);
  • town planning.

Mortgages and Securities

Where the predominant feature of the matter concerns issues as to mortgages and securities including:

  • guarantees, company charges and loan agreements;
  • Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR);
  • registration, transfer and realisation;
  • advice given about operation of mortgages and securities.

Other Commercial Law

Where the predominant feature of the matter is of a commercial nature but does not fit into any other category. For example:

  • corporate (including incorporation, director’s duties, mergers and acquisitions);
  • sale/purchase of business;
  • insolvency;
  • trusts.

Family Law

Where the predominant feature of the matter involves issues arising from family law including:

  • binding financial agreements;
  • advice regarding property, support and custody issues, or de facto matters;
  • related litigation, such as in the family law courts.

Personal Injuries

Where the predominant feature of the matter concerns personal injuries claims (whether for the claimant or defendant) including:

  • advice as to the viability of a cause of action;
  • assessment of liability and damages;
  • pre-proceedings requirements and conduct of proceedings;
  • motor vehicle, workplace, public liability, criminal compensation and others.

Litigation

Where the predominant feature of the matter is litigation (not being personal injuries or another category) including:

  • conduct of proceedings;
  • advice as to causes of action and defences;
  • assessment of the liability, damages, and settlement;
  • adducing appropriate evidence.

Wills and Estates

Where the predominant feature of the matter relates to wills, estates and succession planning including:

  • drafting and advising on testamentary documents;
  • drafting and advising on trust documents and structures, and EPOAs;
  • administration/distribution of a deceased estate or other trust;
  • related litigation such as testator family maintenance.

Criminal Law

Where the predominant feature of the matter involves criminal law issues including:

  • advice to make a certain plea;
  • investigating appropriate defences;
  • obtaining evidence.

Tax

Where the predominant feature of the matter concerns tax and duty issues including:

  • structuring of transactions to maximise tax and stamp duty benefits;
  • application of or liability to pay GST in a given transaction.

Other

A matter that does not fit into any other category. For example, maritime law or where the predominant feature of the matter is the solicitor acting in a capacity as a board member or trustee or director, but the matter does not otherwise fall within another category.

Contact Details: