Lawyers who act as an arbitrator or mediator, custodian, practice trustee / attorney, winding up caretaker or locum generally enjoy coverage under the professional liability indemnification policy (Part A) for negligence claims.

In recent years, mediators, arbitrators and parenting coordinators have been utilized increasingly as effective alternatives to litigation for the resolution of disputes. Given their training and experience, lawyers are often the mediator/arbitrator of choice for the parties involved. Although the nature of the activity coupled with the risk management practices of mediators/arbitrators means that claims are unlikely, any lawyer accepting the role has the comfort of knowing that the policy will respond, if needed. Under the Family Law Act,* lawyers who meet certain training and practice standards set by the Law Society may act as family law mediators or arbitrators. They may also act as "parenting coordinators" — assisting parents in relation to parenting arrangements and contact with children. Lawyers accredited by the Law Society as dispute resolution professionals are also obliged by the Act to maintain professional liability coverage for these activities, and the policy (Part A) satisfies this requirement.

You are covered for mistakes made while you act as a custodian or in a similar role under the Legal Profession Act. In addition, if you agree to act as a practice trustee/attorney, winding up caretaker or locum for another lawyer, you are covered for any mistakes you make while providing legal services to that other lawyer’s clients.

Of course, coverage is only available for lawyers who pay the annual indemnity fee, and other terms and conditions in the policy may limit or preclude that coverage. You will want to make separate inquiries in respect of any excess insurance your firm might carry.

If you would like the Indemnitor's position as to whether you are considered a mediator or arbitrator, custodian, practice trustee / attorney, winding up caretaker or locum for the purposes of the Policy, please send a detailed description of the circumstances, in writing, to one of the advance ruling advisors.

* in force March 18, 2013