Changes during the insurance year. Does the following apply to you?
New Law Practice commencing during an Insurance Year
If during an insurance year you commence as a new law practice you will need insurance through Law Mutual (WA)’s professional indemnity insurance arrangements unless an exemption applies.
A law practice commencing practice during the Insurance Year, will have the annual contribution calculated from the date the practice applied for insurance. The insurance will only take effect once payment has been received. The full administration levy is also payable. Depending on the class and category you are in, one of the following forms will need to be completed.
Additional practitioners – employed practitioners
- An insured law practice, and the practitioner, must advise Law Mutual (WA) as soon as possible when a practitioner is employed by submitting an Additional Practitioner Form 1A. Please allow at least 5 business days prior to the commencement date for processing.
- Where a practitioner was not previously at a law practice insured through Law Mutual (WA) and joins a law practice during the year, a pro rata annual contribution and a full administration levy is payable. A common example is a practitioner moving from a national exempt law practice to a WA law practice.
- The additional annual contribution and administration levy payable is set out below:
|Number of hours working at the new Law Practice compared to previously||Additional Contribution|
|Same or less||None|
|More||Pro rata (not exceeding maximum Contribution)|
Form A – Sole Practitioners and Partnerships
Complete and submit Form A if you are classified as sole practitioner or partner for insurance purposes and you expect to be above the low fee earner threshold of $100,000 during an insurance year.
Form B – Low Fee Earners
Complete and submit Form B if you are a sole practitioner or an incorporated legal practice and you estimate that you will earn less than $100,000 in gross legal fees for the entire insurance year. You will be entitled to concessional annual contribution rates based on your level of income.
Conditions apply depending on who you can employ and discounts you are entitled to.
Form C – Incorporated Legal Practice
Complete and submit Form C if your law practice is structured as an incorporated entity.
An incorporated legal practice is a corporation (typically a company within the meaning of the Corporations Act) that provides legal services and that may provide other services in addition to legal services.
Form 1A – Additional Practitioner
Complete and submit Form 1A when a practitioner joins or commences work at a firm during the insurance year other than renewal period.
Low Fee Earner - Statutory Declaration Form
An low fee earner must submit a statutory declaration to Law Mutual (WA) by 30 September following the end of the insurance year.
Notification of Exemption
Complete and submit the online form if you are a practitioner who is entitled to an exemption pursuant to Regulation 97(1) (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (h).
Part-time employed practitioners
If during an Insurance Year a law practice takes on a part time employed practitioner, the annual contribution is pro-rata’d based on a working week of at least 4 hours per week. The law practice is charged the full administration levy.
Changes to general employees
If a law practice has insurance in place with Law Mutual (WA) as at 1 March, no additional contribution is payable if they increase the number of general employees during the remaining Insurance Year. If the numbers change after 1 March, no refund is given if the number of general employees reduces after this date.
If you are a new law practice commencing in an insurance year you will need to specify the number of general employees full time and part time
For further information on this area please refer to the General Employees section of our Annual information booklet.
Changes to practitioner status during the Insurance Year
If a practitioner changes status during the year, the Form 1A will need to be completed and returned to our office.
The following information may also apply:
|Former role||New role||Further Contribution|
|Employed Practitioner 1||Principal (same practice)||Pro rata Principal Contribution|
|Employed Practitioner 1||Principal (new practice)||Pro rata Principal Contribution|
|Principal 2||Employed Practitioner (same practice)||None|
|Principal 2||Principal (different practice)||Pro rata Principal Contribution|
|Principal||Employed Practitioner (different practice)||Pro rata Contribution|
- The unused portion of the existing Contribution is rebated against the additional Contribution payable
- No refund, pro rata credit or otherwise of the Contribution is payable by Law Mutual.
Practitioner ceases employment
When a practitioner ceases work at a law firm or other entity, the employer must notify Law Mutual (WA) of the cessation date as soon as possible.
Information in relation to Principals retiring during the insurance year along with general enquires about practitioners ceasing employment can be found in our annual Information booklet.
Restructure of a Legal Practice
If a legal practice undergoes a restructure or merger, Law Mutual (WA) must be notified in writing well in advance of the restructure/merger commencement date.
Special conditions apply with regard to restructures which may affect you. For further information please refer to our Annual information booklet – Restructure of Legal Practice.