The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (“LCA”), Part 10, required the New Zealand Law Society to establish a Lawyers Fidelity Fund. This is held in trust by the Society and is funded by practising lawyers, with the exception of those who elect not to receive money or other valuable property in trust.
The Lawyers Fidelity Fund provides compensation to people who suffer theft of any money or property entrusted to lawyers or incorporated law firms while providing legal services or acting as solicitor-trustee.
If you or your legal adviser believe you have a claim against the Fund, you should complete the claim form and declaration.
This fund was established under the Law Practitioners Act 1982. It continues to operate, but only applies to thefts by lawyers which occurred before 1 August 2008. The fund will be wound up by the New Zealand Law Society when the Society is satisfied that all claims before that date have been received and fully dealt with. The Society is required to give public notice and an Order in Council must be made to declare the fund to be wound up.
If you believe you have a claim which relates to theft by a lawyer that occurred before 1 August 2008, you may make a claim against the Solicitors Guarantee Fund. Unlike the Lawyers Fidelity Fund, the Solicitors Guarantee Fund has no limit on the amount which may be claimed. However, both funds do not provide for compensation in respect of money instructed to be invested.