The levy is going down again this year, despite a jump in the number of negligence claims against Alberta lawyers.
The Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association (“ALIA”) and the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Exchange (“ALIEX”) have again reduced the base levy payable by lawyers participating in Alberta’s mandatory indemnity program (the “Program”).
The professional liability/negligence (Part A) levy was reduced from $3,772 last year to $3,344, and the trust safety/misappropriation (Part B) levy was reduced from $458 last year to $448. This represents
a reduction of approximately 10 per cent or $438.
The reduction in total base levy was supported by the application of the Program’s surplus funds in the amount of $4,233,915.
A further reduction in the professional liability/negligence levy would likely have been possible but for the Alberta Court of Appeal’s 2017 decision in Humphreys v. Trebilcock that significantly increased the number of civil actions being struck and, accordingly, the costs to the Program.
The number of negligence claims increased over the past year, from 733 to 793, a jump of more than eight per cent. The number of new misappropriation claims fell from 35 to 23.
The Law Society of Alberta (the “LSA”), ALIA/ALIEX, and each indemnified lawyer have a role in continuing to reduce future levies.
Although ALIA/ALIEX was able to reduce the levy this year, indemnified lawyers must remain vigilant in attempting to avoid negligence claims by implementing proactive loss management strategies to reduce claims.
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