Reports and publications are distributed to all BC lawyers and articled students.

Annual Report

Each year, we report on the indemnification program. The report includes coverage and policy wording changes in the new year, as well as developments on operations and claims in the preceding year.  

The 2021 Lawyers Indemnity Fund digital annual report

The 2020 Lawyers Indemnity Fund program

  • “insurance program” now an “indemnification program”
  • claim reports are now accepted by email
  • indemnity fee unchanged for 2020: $1,800
  • reimbursement coverage has been added
  • internet-based risks and social engineering fraud
  • two “social engineering” scams hit BC law firms in 2019
  • our risk management takeaways of 2019 

The 2019 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2019 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • details a "social engineering" scam that hit BC law firms in 2018
  • highlights statistics on disposition of claims

The 2018 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2018 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • details three "social engineering" scams that hit BC law firms in 2017
  • highlights LIF resources that explain what’s covered under the compulsory policy, and what’s not
  • reports on feedback on the Part B, Trust Protection Coverage experience from victims of lawyer theft

The 2017 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2017 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims, and gives "one victim's story" in relation to trust protection coverage
  • introduces an expansion to trust shortage liability under Part C of the policy
  • highlights resources to help protect you from trust shortage risks
  • reports on the results of the 2016 claims audit

The 2016 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2016 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • highlights excess and other commercial insurance products available to protect you from risks that our policy does not cover
  • reports on 15 years of feedback from insureds on the services we provide

The 2015 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2015 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • highlights a free risk management presentation
  • reports on LIF’s role in the Law Society
  • reports on an upcoming resource – “My Insurance Program: Questions and Answers”

The 2014 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2014 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • highlights new aids to help prevent claims
  • reports on a new resource – “My Claim: Questions and answers”

The 2013 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2013 insurance program and policy revisions
  • clarifies the application of Exclusion 6 – the “business and benefit” exclusion – to trusts
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • reports on an upcoming resource – “My Insurance Policy: Questions and answers”

The 2012 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2012 insurance program and policy revisions
  • introduces new trust shortage liability (for reliance on fraudulent certified cheques) under Part C of the policy
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • reports on the results of the 2011 claims audit

The 2011 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the 2011 insurance program and policy revisions
  • reviews statistics on claims and potential claims
  • explains the policy’s free discovery period coverage for lawyers leaving practice
  • reports on 10 years of feedback from insureds on the services we provide

The 2010 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • reports on the insurance consequences of MDPs and Quebec mobility
  • summarizes resources available from the Lawyers Insurance Fund

The 2009 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • revisits the benefits of excess insurance
  • reports on the results of LIF service evaluations

The 2008 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • highlights proactive claims management and creative resolutions
  • reviews new risk management initiatives

The 2007 Lawyers Insurance Fund

  • highlights website resources
  • announces a seminal risk management publication on missed deadlines

The 2006 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • highlights risk management resources
  • reviews "advance rulings," including coverage information for lawyers acting as executors or trustees

The 2005 Lawyers Insurance Fund program 

  • introduces new risk management resources
  • reviews insurance coverage advice available on the website, including information about insurance coverage for lawyers no longer in private practice

May 1, 2004 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • provides details of new trust protection coverage 

The 2004 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • notes changes to the excess insurance program and the availability of optional business innocent insured coverage
  • lists available services and resources from the Lawyers Insurance Fund
  • summarizes the insurance aspects of the new national mobility agreement of the Federation of Law Societies

The 2003 Lawyers Insurance Fund program 

  • details new website information available from the Lawyers Insurance Fund - such as new initiatives on coverage and optional coverage available to BC lawyers
  • comments on the insurance aspects of the new national mobility agreement of the Federation of Law Societies

The 2002 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • provides details of extended insurance coverage for approved pro bono services
  • provides details of optional business "innocent insured" coverage (BIIC)

The 2001 Lawyers Insurance Fund program

  • discusses the insurance implications of the Western Law Societies Conveyancing Protocol

The 2000 Lawyers Insurance Fund program
 

Notices to Lawyers

February 25, 2021

Introducing LIF’s New Digital Annual Report

2020 was a year like no other. Take a few minutes to learn how your indemnity program is performing after 50 years in our new digital annual report. In a brief video on page 2, Chief Operating Officer, Su Forbes, QC, shares the program changes and highlights in 2020.

Annual Report

You can bookmark our website and check out the job opening on our Careers Page. Click here to download a copy of our Program Report.

And for the latest updates from LIF, follow us on Twitter @Lifbc.

February 10, 2021

LIF Risk Management Video Series - Managing the risks of a limited retainer

More and more lawyers are performing work on a limited scope retainer or “unbundled” basis – namely, performing only a portion of the work on a larger legal matter. It arises in a variety of contexts, including: litigants interested in self-representation but requiring some technical assistance; business clients keen to attend to aspects of a transaction themselves; and executors seeking only to have documents notarized. Unbundling services for your clients, however, can be risky.

In this video, Claims Counsel Sherry Kooner demonstrates how to manage the risks of a limited retainer.

Learn more about steps to take to protect yourself from a loss here.

For the latest updates from LIF, follow us on Twitter @Lifbc.

February 3, 2021

Suspension of Limitation Periods – your questions answered

The suspension of limitation periods, in effect since March 26, 2020, is no longer tied to the provincial state of emergency declared under the Emergency Program Act, and will end one year after the suspension began. It started at the beginning of the day on March 26, 2020 and will be lifted at the end of the day on March 25, 2021 (see the order). There is no further transition or grace period beyond March 25, 2021.

This does not mean that all limitation periods are automatically ending on March 25, 2021 – the examples below will show you how your limitation period may be affected. This applies to all civil and family proceedings in BC Provincial Court, BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal. 

But don’t wait to file your Notices of Claim and Notices of Appeal. Do it now.


Guidelines for calculating BC limitation periods

First determine that BC law applies to the claim.*

Limitation period scenarios for BC claims

Effect of suspension of
limitation periods

Example

If the limitation period expired before the suspension  

No effect. The limitation remains expired.

  • A motor vehicle accident occurred on February 26, 2018.
  • The limitation period would normally expire on February 26, 2020.
  • The limitation period expired on February 26, 2020 if no action was commenced as the suspension of limitation periods has no application.

If the limitation period would normally have expired between March 26, 2020 and March 25, 2021

Add 1 year to the expiry year of the limitation period. (You have the same amount of time remaining after the suspension of limitation periods as you did before)

  • A motor vehicle accident occurred on April 27, 2018.
  • The limitation period would normally expire on April 27, 2020 but for the suspension.
  • The limitation period now expires on April 27, 2021.**

If the cause of action arose before March 26, 2020 and would normally expire after March 26, 2021

Add 1 year to the expiry year of the limitation period
(You have the same amount of time remaining after the suspension of limitation periods as you did before)

  • A motor vehicle accident occurred on June 1, 2019.
  • The limitation period would normally expire on June 1, 2021 but for the suspension of the limitation period.
  • The limitation period now expires on June 1, 2022.

 

If the cause of action arose after the suspension of limitation
periods but before March 25, 2021

The limitation period
expires March 26, 2023
(A limitation period that began to run during the suspension starts to run when the suspension is lifted)

  • A motor vehicle accident occurred on October 28, 2020.
  • The limitation period would normally expire on October 28, 2022.
  • The limitation period now starts to run on March 26, 2021. (The suspension is lifted at the end of the day on March 25, 2021)***
  • The limitation period therefore expires on March 26, 2023.****


Note: At the time of this Notice, the discretionary power provided to entities that have statutory power to waive, suspend or extend a limitation period will continue until 90-days after the state of emergency is lifted (see sections 1 and 3 of Item 7 of Schedule 2 to the COVID-19 Related Measures Act). That discretionary power is not intended to extend to courts.

* For example, in a contract claim, BC law including BC limitation law will not apply automatically simply because a party commences an action here. The parties may have contractually agreed to another jurisdiction’s law applying to the contract. In another example, under conflict of laws principles, a court may conclude that the claim is more clearly connected to a jurisdiction other than BC, and that the other jurisdiction’s law applies to the claim.

** For greater clarity, April 27, 2021 is the last day to file the Notice of Civil Claim.

*** Please see s. 4(3) of the Interpretation Act.

**** March 26, 2023 is a Sunday. Please refer to the Interpretation Act to determine what impact, if any, this has on the expiry of the limitation period.


This document was developed by the Lawyers Indemnity Fund of the Law Society of BC, in consultation with the BC Ministry of Attorney General, and is shared as educational material. It is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon for those purposes. The Ministry of Attorney General confirms that the examples provided above are consistent with the policy intent for how the suspension of limitation periods relating to the COVID-19 pandemic was meant to function.

January 20, 2021

LIF Risk Management Video Series - Will Drafting Mistakes

Three times as many people over 65 live in BC today as compared with 35 years ago. This aging demographic, coupled with the surge in demand for wills resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, means that challenges to the validity of wills will become more frequent. Wills and estates lawyers are vulnerable.

The number one cause of claims for wills and estates lawyers? Oversights — primarily clerical mistakes in drafting wills and just forgetting to take some step that needs to be taken.

Claims Counsel, Leanne Wood, will describe an actual will-drafting mistake from one of our claim files in this video.

Find out even more information about common mistakes in wills and estates here.

For the latest updates from LIF, follow us on Twitter @Lifbc.

January 14, 2021

Introducing LIF’s New Website

We have created a separate website to improve our services to you – lif.ca.

LIF website

Faster. More intuitive. Better.  We listened to your feedback, and decided to make our information more easily accessible to inform and support you – whether that is reporting a claim, learning about your coverage, or gaining new risk management knowledge. You also can check out our job prospects as we have an opening for a Claims Counsel on our new Careers page.

Come find us here – for our Expertise, Service and Results.

December 22, 2020

Suspension of limitation periods ends on March 25, 2021

An early holiday gift! The government has provided advance notice that although the public health state of emergency continues, the suspension of limitation periods for starting a civil or family action or appeal in BC courts will end on March 25, 2021. For clarity, March 25, 2021 is the final end date for the suspension of limitation periods. There is no transition or grace period (90 days or 45 days) after March 25, 2021. March 25, 2021 is the one year anniversary from the date the first ministerial order suspending limitation periods (Ministerial Order M086) was made on March 26, 2020. BC has graciously been afforded the longest suspension of limitation periods of any province in Canada.

While you still have time - don’t wait; file your Notices of Claim and Notices of Appeal now.

See the order and find out more information from the government here. We will provide you with further details in January 2021. Please note that this order does not apply to the other ministerial orders and regulations made under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

December 9, 2020

Lawyers Indemnity Fund Risk Management Video Series

High Cost of Making Small Mistakes

Corporate/commercial claims account for the most dollars LIF pays out on claims. This practice area also gave rise to the biggest payout in LIF’s history - $7 million. Commercial lending, which is part of corporate/commercial area of law, generates some of the highest payouts. Lawyers practising in this area need to be especially vigilant about conflicts of interest.

Watch this video of Claims Counsel, Surindar Nijjar to learn more about the four most common mistakes in commercial lending.

Learn more about the common mistakes in corporate/commercial claims and risk management tips here.

December 1, 2020

BC Land Title & Survey Authority – new online identity verification service

The BC Land Title & Survey Authority is offering an online identity verification service to mitigate fraud risk where a physical meeting with an individual is not possible. Lawyers who wish to use technology verification services to enhance their practice are still expected to comply with the existing rules in Part 3 – Division 11 – Client Identification and Verification.

The Law Society previously issued guidance for using video technology for verification in unique circumstances for clients in Canada where a lawyer is unable to use any other verification method. In such circumstances, the transaction should be treated as high risk. Among other requirements, lawyers are expected to document the efforts made to verify the client’s identity in accordance with the existing rules, as well as the reasons why they are unable to verify the client’s identity in accordance with the existing rules. Please see Knowing your client - Guidance and rules during COVID-19 for the Law Society’s Notice to the Profession and detailed guidance as well as video conferencing technology information. If you have questions, contact a practice advisor at practiceadvice@lsbc.org.

November 25, 2020

Land Owner Transparency Registry in force November 30, 2020

If you are registering an interest in land on November 30, 2020, see the requirements below published by the Land Owner Transparency Registry.

As of November 30, 2020, the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA) will require corporations, trusts and partnerships to which the legislation applies to file a transparency declaration and a transparency report with the LOTA administrator to disclose beneficial ownership. Failure to comply will result in the land title registry refusing the registration and may also result in fines.

Further information, including upcoming webinars and other support resources, may be found on the Land Owner Transparency Registry's website.

November 12, 2020

Lawyers Indemnity Fund risk management video series: Fraudsters continue to target BC lawyers

Are you about to pay out trust funds and your client’s payment instructions have changed? Stop. Ensure that the change is legitimate by calling your client at the number in your file. You must speak directly or make in-person contact with your client.

Watch this video of LIF Director of Claims, Michael Soltynski, to find out how two BC law firms fell victim to sophisticated social engineering frauds involving millions of dollars. Learn how to prevent this from happening to you and protect yourself from loss. 

Any time a payment of trust funds is imminent, assume that a hacker is also aware. Any client's or lawyer's email account can get hacked allowing a fraudster to perpetrate a social engineering fraud. Establish due diligence protocols for transferring funds and ensure all staff receive training and adhere to them. Insurance is available on the commercial market to respond to social engineering frauds so talk to your broker as limited protection is provided to you through Part C of the policy.

October 22, 2020

Fraud alert: Trojan virus attacks BC law firm

Recently, a BC law firm was hit with a sophisticated Trojan horse virus as a result of a weak password and an inadequate firewall. The virus has allowed the fraudsters to gain access to the firm’s banking and client information, and it has caused emails to be sent to people on the firm’s contact list. These emails can appear as though they originate from the law firm itself, another law firm on the firm’s contact list, the court registry or even the Crown Prosecutor’s office. Nothing on the face of the email looks out of the ordinary except that the email includes an attachment or, in some cases, a zip file to be clicked on and downloaded.

Whatever you do, think before you click.

To protect yourselves and your law firm, be on alert and remind all lawyers and staff to take the following precautions:

  • Always think before you click.
  • Never open a link or attachment in an email or text message from anyone you do not know.
  • If you receive a link or attachment that you were not expecting – even if it is from someone you know – call the sender using the telephone number you have on file (not the number listed in the message) to confirm the message is legitimate.
  • If you open a link or attachment that you should have avoided, and a box opens that asks for your password or other information, stop. Close out. Immediately call your IT department to run a scan on your device(s) and inform your other law firm staff immediately.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi, and do not use unsecured Wi-Fi to connect to your work server to do any banking, or to send any confidential or personal information.
  • Avoid working in public spaces where third parties may view screens or printed documents.

Learn about the 10 simple steps you can take to protect your system against a data breach here and talk to your IT professional.

Be sure to talk to your insurance broker about buying comprehensive cyber insurance. For information about managing this risk and more, click here.

If you suspect you have encountered a fraud, contact Barbara Buchanan, QC, Practice Advisor, Conduct and Ethics, at 604.697.5816 or bbuchanan@lsbc.org.

October 14, 2020

Attention civil litigation lawyers: Missed limitations and deadlines are on the rise

You know that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach the moment you realize you’ve made a mistake? One in every four reports to the Lawyers Indemnity Fund is triggered by a missed limitation or deadline. Year after year, lawyers from every area of practice – big firms and small firms, senior lawyers and new calls – fall into the same traps.

Watch this video of LIF Claims Counsel, Greg Sexton, on how to prevent missed limitations and deadlines by adopting some simple practices and procedures for you and your staff to follow.

You can learn even more risk management tips on our website here.

October 7, 2020

Land Owner Transparency Registry in force November 30, 2020

When registering an interest in land on or after November 30, 2020, the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA) will require corporations, trusts and partnerships to which the legislation applies to file a transparency declaration and a transparency report with the LOTA administrator to disclose beneficial ownership. Failure to comply will result in the land title registry refusing the registration and may also result in fines.

For more information about the new requirements and the entities that must report, see the Land Owner Transparency Registry's website, which includes upcoming webinars and other support resources.

September 9, 2020

Lawyers Indemnity Fund risk management video series

Back to basics: Learn about your indemnification policy

Let’s admit it: reading an indemnification policy is boring. Yet, it is one of the most important documents in your practice to understand - what is covered, what is not, and changes to your coverage. Make sure you know about the changes made to your 2020 policy.

Watch this three minute video of Shelley Braun, Director of Underwriting and Claims at LIF, to learn more.

An overview of the policy and answers to frequently answered questions about your indemnification program can be found here.

July 29, 2020

New LIF video: Planning for when the state of emergency ends

The COVID-19 Related Measures Act extends ministerial orders, including orders for limitation periods, electronic witnessing, and Supreme Court and Family applications, by 45 or 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted.

Watch this video of Maryanne Prohl, Director of Risk Management at LIF, to learn more about what to expect when the 45 and 90-day grace periods come into effect, and how to avoid issues with limitations for filing Notices of Civil Claim and Notices of Appeal: https://youtu.be/RqaZBf9Z_9w.

Act now. Don’t wait to file your Notice of Civil Claim or Notice of Appeal.

July 8, 2020

Attention real estate lawyers! Don’t forget additional property transfer tax is payable for foreign nationals, foreign entities and taxable trustees

Lawyers Indemnity Fund will be releasing short videos on risk management once a month, to offer guidance and tips to avoid issues that can lead to claims. The first of these videos is about claims where lawyers have forgotten that a foreign national, foreign corporation or taxable trustee is required to pay additional property transfer tax on certain real estate transactions.

Watch this video of Marlon Song, Claims Counsel at LIF, to learn more.

The additional tax applies to the residential portion of a property that BC Assessment has classified as residential (class 1), farm land (that includes a residential improvement) or commercial (that includes a residential improvement). You can also familiarize yourself with the features of the tax by reading the Ministry of Finance’s web page.

June 23, 2020

Cyber-attacks on the rise during COVID-19

According to recent reports, phishing attempts have increased by over 600 per cent since the beginning of March. As stated in previous notices, cyber-criminals often strike during periods of disruption, distraction and confusion, all of which have been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawyers and law firms have had to focus attention on addressing COVID-related impacts. Remote work environments may have less data security. These and other factors leave lawyers more vulnerable to data breaches. To protect your firm, be on alert and remind all lawyers and staff to take the following precautions before opening emails:

  • Always think before you click.
  • Never open a link or attachment in an email or text from anyone you do not know.
  • If you receive a link or attachment that you were not expecting – even if it is from someone you know – call the sender using the telephone number you have on file (not the number listed in the message) to confirm the message is legitimate.
  • If you open a link or attachment that you should have avoided, and a box opens that asks for your password or other information, stop. Close out. Immediately call your IT department to run a scan on your device(s).
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi, and do not use unsecured Wi-Fi to connect to your work server, to do any banking, or to send any confidential or personal information.
  • Avoid working in public spaces where third parties may view screens or printed documents.

In addition, talk to your IT professional about our ten simple steps and other preventive measures you can take to protect your systems and your data. Also, talk to your insurance broker about buying comprehensive cyber insurance for this risk (your Lawyers Indemnity Fund policy provides limited social engineering coverage but does not respond to ransomware attacks or data breaches). Further information on cyber insurance and other commercial products is available here.

June 10, 2020

State of emergency extended

The provincial cabinet has extended the state of emergency through to the end of the day on June 23, 2020. The Order-in-Council renewing the state of emergency may be found here.

This state of emergency is the longest in BC history. Premier John Horgan has previously expressed that it will continue with no end in sight but, under section 9(4) of the Emergency Program Act, a state of emergency can only be issued two weeks at a time. The Law Society will continue to provide updates on further extensions as we learn of them from government.

May 11, 2020

Update on video-conferencing information: risk management tips

Many law firms and lawyers have been required to make a rapid transition to remote work and use video-conferencing technology to provide legal advice and services. The Law Society updated its web page on video-conferencing technology information to include a useful document on risk management tips for video-conferencing, developed by the Lawyers Indemnity Fund to help to reduce the risk of a negligence claim.

May 8, 2020

Reminder to beat the rush: file Notices of Civil Claim using Court Services Online

While statutory limitations for commencing civil or family actions are still suspended, you are encouraged to file Notices of Civil Claim using Court Services Online. With the province taking steps toward a gradual re-opening of businesses and services, eventually the suspension will be lifted. Avoid the risk of missing a limitation date or the long line-ups at court registries that may occur once the suspension is lifted.

May 6, 2020

Mental Health Week video statement from LIF

Stress, anxiety and depression are common in the legal profession, and COVID-19 leaves lawyers even more vulnerable to mental health issues. There are resources available to help. Watch Su Forbes, QC, COO of the Lawyers Indemnity Fund, share the story of one lawyer who suffered from depression and what lawyers can do to prioritize health and mental well-being.

May 1, 2020

Beware of counterfeit cheques drawn on your bank account

Fraudsters often take advantage of disruptive events like the current pandemic. Previously, we notified lawyers of a ransomware attack on a Manitoba law firm’s computer systems. Now, here at home, a BC lawyer has reported that funds were withdrawn from his bank account by the use of a counterfeit law firm cheque. Because this lawyer reviews his accounts online daily, he was in a position to report the missing funds to his financial institution within 48 hours, and the institution credited his account. Protect yourself from unauthorized withdrawals by frequently reviewing your accounts. Report any missing funds to your financial institution as soon as possible. Talk to your broker about the insurance available on the commercial market to respond to these frauds. If you have questions, contact Barbara Buchanan, QC at bbuchanan@lsbc.org or 604.697.5816.

April 15, 2020

Beware of increased cybersecurity risk during COVID-19

Cyber-criminals often seek to take advantage of rapid change, heightened stress and confusion. In Manitoba, two law firms had their entire computer systems infected with ransomware, which blocked access to their computers, client lists, emails, accounting and financial information and other digital files. The firms were asked to pay an enormous ransom to regain access to their computers, which were likely attacked when a lawyer or employee clicked on a link in an attachment or email. Ontario and elsewhere report that hackers are circulating phony, but legitimate looking, COVID-19 outbreak maps or emails purportedly from IT teams or vendors that ask recipients to click links to open attachments that are infected with malware. 

With many lawyers now working remotely, the increase in virtual access to work servers requires extra vigilance. To protect yourselves and your law firm, be on alert and remind all lawyers and staff to take the following precautions: 

  • Always think before you click.
  • Never open a link or attachment in an email or text message from anyone you do not know.
  • If you receive a link or attachment that you were not expecting – even if it is from someone you know – call the sender using the telephone number you have on file (not the number listed in the message) to confirm the message is legitimate.
  • If you open a link or attachment that you should have avoided, and a box opens that asks for your password or other information, stop. Close out. Immediately call your IT department to run a scan on your device(s).
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi, and do not use unsecured Wi-Fi to connect to your work server, to do any banking, or to send any confidential or personal information.
  • Avoid working in public spaces where third parties may view screens or printed documents.
   

 

E-Briefs

February 2021

Two years means two years: BC Court of Appeal confirms strict limitation period for third party claims for contribution and indemnity
Under the former limitation act, a court could consider delay and prejudice in determining whether to allow third party proceedings to be commenced after the limitation period had expired. This is no longer the case. The Court of Appeal in Sohal v. Lezama recently held that a court does not have the discretion to permit a third party notice for contribution and indemnity if the limitation period has expired under the current limitation act. The two-year limitation period starts to run on the “discovery” of the claim, which is the later of: (1) date the defendant was served with the Notice of Civil Claim; or (2) the first day the defendant knew or ought to have known that it could claim contribution or indemnity. Remember to give timely consideration to potential third party claims for contribution and indemnity in order to preserve your client’s right to make these claims.

LIF Risk Management Video Series − Will Drafting Mistakes
Three times as many people over 65 live in BC today as compared with 35 years ago. This aging demographic, coupled with the surge in demand for wills resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, means that challenges to the validity of wills will become more frequent. Wills and estates lawyers are vulnerable. The number one cause of claims for wills and estates lawyers? Oversights — primarily clerical mistakes in drafting wills and just forgetting to take some step that needs to be taken. Claims Counsel Leanne Wood will describe an actual will-drafting mistake from one of our claim files in this video. Find out even more information about common mistakes in wills and estates here. For the latest updates from LIF, follow us on Twitter @Lifbc.

November 2020, Supplementary Edition

ICYMI: Lawyers Indemnity Fund video on fraudsters continuing to target BC lawyers

Are you about to pay out trust funds and your client’s payment instructions have changed? Stop. Ensure that the change is legitimate by calling your client at the number in your file. You must speak directly or make in-person contact with your client. Watch this video of LIF Director of Claims, Michael Soltynski, to find out how two BC law firms fell victim to sophisticated social engineering frauds involving millions of dollars. Learn how to prevent this from happening to you and protect yourself from loss. Insurance is available on the commercial market to respond to social engineering frauds so talk to your broker as limited protection is provided to you through Part C of the policy.

November 2020

ICYMI: Lawyers Indemnity Fund video on missed limitations and deadlines on the rise

One in every four reports to the Lawyers Indemnity Fund is triggered by a missed limitation or deadline. Year after year, lawyers from every area of practice – big firms and small firms, senior lawyers and new calls – fall into the same traps. Watch this video of LIF Claims Counsel, Greg Sexton, on how to prevent missed limitations and deadlines by adopting some simple practices and procedures for you and your staff to follow. You can learn even more risk management tips on our website here.

October 2020

Reminder: Private BC companies must create and maintain a Transparency Register as of October 1, 2020

BCBCA private companies will be required to prepare and regularly update a Transparency Register that includes a list of individuals who directly or indirectly control 25 per cent or more of the shares or votes of the company and certain personal information about them. There are significant penalties for non-compliance. The Transparency Register is similar in principle to the Canada Business Corporations Act’s register of individuals that has been in effect since mid-2019, however, there are some notable differences. More information can be found here.

September 2020

In case you missed it: learn about your indemnification policy in this Lawyers Indemnity Fund risk management video

Let’s admit it: reading an indemnification policy is boring.  Yet, it is one of the most important documents in your practice to understand − what is covered, what is not, and changes to your coverage. Make sure you know about the changes made to your 2020 policy. Watch this three-minute video of Shelley Braun, Director of Underwriting and Claims at LIF, to learn more. An overview of the policy and answers to frequently answered questions about your indemnification program can be found here.

August 2020

Federal limitation periods suspended

An Act respecting further COVID-19 measuresreceived Royal Assent on July 20, 2020. The legislation suspends certain federal limitation periods from March 13 to September 13, 2020, or any earlier day fixed by order of the Governor in Council. Part 3 of the Act enacts the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) and sets out which Acts or regulations are affected. For any federal matter, check whether the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) applies. Even though certain federal limitation periods are still suspended, don't wait, take action now.

Lawyers Indemnity Fund video: Planning for when the state of emergency ends

The Lawyers Indemnity Fund is releasing short videos on risk management once a month to offer guidance and tips to avoid issues that can lead to claims. The second of these videos is about the COVID-19 Related Measures Act. Watch this video of Maryanne Prohl, Director of Risk Management at LIF, to learn more.

July 2020

Lawyers Indemnity Fund video on additional property transfer tax for foreign nationals, foreign entities and taxable trustees

Once a month, the Lawyers Indemnity Fund will be releasing a short video that offers guidance and tips on how to avoid issues that can lead to claims. The first of these videos is about lawyers who forget that a foreign national, foreign corporation or taxable trustee is required to pay additional property transfer tax on certain real estate transactions. Watch this video of Marlon Song, Claims Counsel at LIF, to learn more. You can also familiarize yourself with the features of the tax by reading the Ministry of Finance’s web page.

June 2020

Draft legislation for suspension of federal limitation periods

The Government of Canada has published draft legislative proposals that would suspend certain time limits and enable federal ministers to extend or suspend other time limits in federal legislation, including deadlines in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and regulations in the Canada Labour Code, but would not apply to the investigation of or a proceeding respecting an offence. The proposals would suspend or extend time limits from March 13, 2020 to September 13, 2020 or any earlier day fixed by order of the Governor in Council. Further information may be found in the full draft Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19).

April 2020

Attention! Creditors remedies lawyers

The Ministry of Attorney General has issued a Consultation Paper on the Uniform Civil Enforcement Money Judgments Act, requesting responses to questions by May 1, 2020. The consultation paper introduces potential fundamental changes to creditors remedies law, including: two year limitation period for enforcing judgments, pro-rata sharing among judgement creditors, new preservation orders, severance of a joint tenancy upon registration of a judgment and more. The responses will be used to solicit input into reforming the current Court Order Enforcement Act. Further information, including how to make a submission, is available in the consultation paper.

January 2020

Sweeping amendments to the Securities Act

Lawyers, and securities lawyers in particular, should become familiar with amendments to the Securities Act, which received Royal Assent on November 28, 2019. The changes give the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) the ability to order administrative monetary penalties without a hearing for certain contraventions, introduce minimum sentences, increase penalties, as well as significantly expanding the BCSC’s investigative, enforcement and collection powers. In addition, the amendments give the BCSC enhanced powers to freeze and seize property transferred for less than market value by fraudsters to third parties, as well as an ability to direct ICBC to refuse to issue or renew a driver’s licence. Although regulations are still required to make the majority of these amendments operational, lawyers should become familiar with them. For more information, read the Securities Act.