Summary of the PII Arrangement
The PII arrangement is governed by the Act and the Legal Profession Uniform Law. The coverage provided by the PII arrangement is set out in the annual Master Policy.
The Law Society is required to publish details of the PII arrangement and does so in the Annual Information Booklet which is released prior to the commencement each insurance year.
Law practices are issued with a Certificate on behalf of the Underwriters. The terms and conditions of the Certificate are Schedule 1 to the Master Policy.
Ceased law practices and former practitioners covered under previous PII arrangements are entitled to cover under the Master Policy in respect of civil liability claims arising from the practice of law during their previous periods of coverage.
The Certificates are issued in the name of a law practice’s legal entity and not it’s trading name (if it differs from the legal entity). The Certificates do not include the names of individual practitioners. Who is ‘insured’ is set out in the definition section of the Certificate.
In summary, subject to the terms of the Master Policy, the PII arrangement covers a law practice, its current and past Principals and its current and past employees for claims made during the Insurance Year.
The amount payable by law practices is comprised of 2 components:
- the Annual Contribution (Section 163 of the Act), and
- any Administration Levy (Section 169 of the Act).
For information about arranging new or ongoing coverage under the PII arrangement, please read the Annual Information Booklet.
2023/2024 Annual Insurance Booklet
2023/2024 Master Policy
2023/2024 Summary of Substantive Changes to Master Policy
2022/23 Annual Information Booklet
2022/23 Master Policy
2023/2024 Application Form – Existing Legal Practices
2022/2023 Application Form — New Legal Practices
Form 1A – Additional Practitioner – when a practitioner joins or commences work at a law practice during the insurance year.
New Law Practices
Pursuant to the Act, a new law practice must be covered under the PII arrangement before its practitioners commence practising for that practice.
The Annual Contribution will be calculated from the date the law practice intends to commence.
The coverage will only take effect once full payment of the Annual Contribution and any Administration levy has been received. Please ensure an Application Form is submitted to Law Mutual before commencement of the new law practice and in sufficient time to allow for the raising and payment of an invoice.
Changes to Insured Law Practices
An insured law practice, and the practitioner, must inform Law Mutual when a practitioner commences at the law practice by submitting an Additional Practitioner Form 1A. Please allow at least 3 business days prior to the commencement date for processing.
Practitioner ceases employment or retires
When practitioner ceases employment at a law practice, the law practice must notify Law Mutual (WA) of the cessation date as soon as possible.
Further Information in relation to practitioners ceasing employment or Principals retiring during an insurance year can be found in the Annual Information Booklet.
Restructure of a law practice
If a law practice undergoes a restructure or merger, Law Mutual must be notified in writing in advance of the restructure/merger commencement date.
Special conditions apply regarding restructures which may affect the law practices and practitioners concerned. For further information please refer to the Annual Information Booklet – Restructure of Legal Practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to complete an insurance application?
Under the Act, it is a requirement that a practitioner must be covered under the PII arrangements (unless they are exempt) before commencing to provide legal services.
If a law practice (and its practitioners) are not covered, the Legal Practice Board will not issue the practitioners at that law practice with a Practising Certificates for that year.
A law practice must complete an Application Form, as required by the Act, to obtain coverage.
When should I complete my insurance application?
Currently insured law practices will usually be reminded by Law Mutual by email in February or March that their Application for the next insurance year is due. Regardless of that, the Act obliges such practices to submit their Application by the end of March.
New law practice should complete and send an Application form to Law Mutual to be received by us at least seven business days before the required commencement date of coverage (being the commencement date of the practice).
By when must, and how can, the Annual Contribution (premium) be paid?
The Act requires law practices to pay their full Annual Contribution and any administration levy by the 15 May preceding the commencement of the Insurance Year (Section 158). If this date falls on a weekend or public holiday, payment is due the next business day.
Should payment not be made by 15 May, a 10% late lodgment fee will be imposed pursuant to Regulation 47(2)of the Legal Profession Uniform Regulations 2022. See also Clause 48 of the Annual Information Booklet. The late lodgment fee will not apply if any payment made by the 15 May is cleared within five (5) days thereafter.
Law Mutual cannot receipt payments until the funds have cleared through its bank account. Once payments are fully receipted, a copy of the receipt will be emailed to the contact email address provided in the Application form.
The Legal Practice Board will be notified of compliance with the insurance coverage requirement by the next business day after payment is receipted.
The Law Society can waive payment of the late lodgement fee in whole or part at its discretion. The basis of its exercise of this discretion is set out in the Annual Information Booklet.
Law Mutual is not obliged to backdate cover but may do so at its sole discretion, which it will exercise in what it considers to be appropriate circumstances and on any terms it considers relevant.
Any currently insured law practice that does not pay its invoice and late lodgment fees (if any) before 30 June, will have its invoice withdrawn and cancelled effective as of 30 June and it and its practitioners will have no coverage for the ensuing Insurance Year.
Law Mutual may, at its absolute discretion, reinstate an invoice and accept a payment on or after 30 June.
If a law practice continues to practice in the ensuing Insurance Year without having applied for and paid for coverage, then:
- the practitioners of the law practice may be practising in contravention of the Act;
- the law practice, its Principals, and its employees (past and present) will not be covered for civil liability claims, and
- the law practice may not be able to recover its professional fees.
Law Mutual is not obliged to offer coverage for the following Insurance Year if a law practice has not paid any outstanding invoices by 15 March (Section 158 of the Act).
You can pay your premiums by:
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – direct to Law Mutual’s bank account – this is most efficient method of payment as funds are usually cleared within two business days. Please quote the respective invoice number on each EFT payment to Law Mutual. Payment details are provided on every invoice generated by Law Mutual.
Cheques – please make out to the Law Mutual Fund and mail to Law Mutual. A cheque can also be directly deposited into Law Mutual’s bank account over the counter at a branch of your banking institution. The funds are subject to clearance and this may take three to five business days.
Credit Card – To pay by credit card, the remittance advice section of each invoice will need to completed and sent back to Law Mutual for processing via an online credit card payment facility. Credit card payment instructions can be communicated to Law Mutual by phone, email or at its office. Funds are not available to Law Mutual until they are remitted by the credit card merchant. This process can take up to two to three business days. Credit card payments also attract a processing fee of 1.1175% of the invoice amount which covers merchant charges.
Law Mutual does not offer any instalment payment plans and cannot take cash payments.
You will need to apply with a premium funding provider if you wish to fund your Annual Contribution by instalments.
Premium Funding – Premium funding is a facility that usually provides a monthly instalment option. Applications will need to be submitted to the premium funding provider and may take some weeks depending on the funder’s assessment process. Information and quotations on funding can be sought from the following two more common providers.
To request a premium funding application, to fund payment for your Annual Contribution, please email your request to email@example.com with your Law Mutual invoice.
Westpac Insurance Premium Finance
For general information on premium funding see Westpac Insurance Premium Finance. To request a quote to fund payment of your Annual Contribution, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your Law Mutual invoice.
How much is my Annual Contribution and are discounts available?
Detailed Information on these areas can be found in the Annual Information Booklet.
If you require a quote for the cost of coverage under the PII arrangements, you can contact Law Mutual on (08) 9481 3111 or email email@example.com
Do consultants, mediators, migration agents and settlement agents require insurance?
The PII arrangement covers civil liability incurred in connection with the practice of the law. You will need to determine if the work undertaken in these roles is in connection with the practice of law. In that regard, it is noted that the definition of “legal services” in the Legal Profession Uniform Law means “work done, or business transacted, in the ordinary course of legal practice”.
By way of guidance, the title ‘consultant’ is used in many different contexts by law practice and practitioners and does not necessarily refer to an independent contractor who is providing consultancy services to a law practice. Under the PII arrangement, a consultant who is determined by us to be equivalent to an employee of a law practice is covered, whereas an independent contractor is not.
Typically, an independent contractor will be an individual who is not supervised and provides services to other entities as well as of the law practice.
For more information on consultants, please refer to the Annual Information Booklet.
When will I receive my Practising Certificate?
The Legal Practice Board (the Board) will be notified electronically of a relevant practitioner’s compliance with the insurance coverage requirements of the Act, on the business day after all relevant payments have been cleared and receipted.
Law Mutual has no authority in relation to the issuing of Practising Certificates. Practitioners will need to contact the Board directly on (08) 6211 3600.
Am I Entitled to an Exemption from Coverage?
Pursuant to the Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2022, the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia (the Board) is responsible for all matters in respect to exemptions from the PII arrangement (exemptions) from that date.
The Law Society does not have the authority to assist with exemptions. Law practices and practitioners will need to contact the Board directly on (08) 6211 3600.