What is the Fonds d’assurance responsabilité professionnelle du Barreau du Québec (the « Fonds d’assurance») ?
The Fonds d’assurance provides professional liability coverage for members of the Barreau du Québec for faults, errors or omissions in the rendering of professional services. In case of liability of its insured, member in good standing of the Barreau du Québec, the Fonds d’assurance will indemnify you in accordance with the terms of the applicable insurance policy, as the case may be.
There is liability of an insured when:
- An error, fault or omission has occurred involuntarily in the rendering of professional services in the capacity of a lawyer; and
- The claimant suffered a loss of a specific and quantifiable amount; and
- The loss has occurred as a result of the error, fault or omission of the lawyer.
The Fonds d’assurance defends its insureds. The Fonds d’assurance does not represent you and will not give you any advice. We therefore suggest that you seek independent legal advice, at your own cost.
Note The Fonds d’assurance does not deal with complaints relating to a lawyer’s billing. Such complaints should be addressed to the Syndic du Barreau du Québec.
Note Claims pertaining to the misappropriation of funds entrusted to a lawyer should be addressed to the Fonds d’indemnisation du Barreau du Québec and not the Fonds d’assurance.
How to make a claim?
We ask that you complete and return a Claimant’s form, which will allow us to study the validity of your claim. Upon receipt of the Claimant’s form, we will investigate the claim. We will first verify if the claim is covered under the terms of the applicable insurance policy. We may ask you for further information. We will send our insured a copy of the Claimant’s form and any other documents received from you and will ask the insured for his/her comments in regards to your claim.
You will not have access to our file. Moreover, the Claimant’s Form does not convey any legal rights against the Fonds d’assurance.
Prescription / Limitation Period
The law states strict time limits within which you must bring a claim before the courts in professional liability matters. Such limitation period is known as “prescription”. The Fonds d’assurance will deny all claims that are outside the limitation period.
When you make a claim to the Fonds d’assurance, the limitation period or prescription continues to run until you institute proceedings before the courts.
The Fonds d’assurance cannot advise you about the limitation period. If you have questions, you should seek independent legal advice, at your own cost.
The Fonds d'assurance’s Position
When our investigation is complete, we will advise you of our position regarding your claim. The Fonds d’assurance may make an offer but only in case of professional liability, and under the terms of the applicable insurance policy. If you do not agree with the Fonds d’assurance’s position regarding your claim, let us know.
If an out of court settlement may not be reached and if you maintain your claim, it will be incumbent upon you to institute the appropriate legal proceeding before the courts within the applicable limitation period.
We remind you that prescription continues to run even if you have made a claim to the Fonds d’assurance.