NZ Law – Solicitors’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund Being Wound Up, Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund Continues

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NZ Law Society – A fund providing for claims of theft by solicitors prior to 2008 is being wound up by the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa. The Law Society is giving notice that it has started the procedures to wind up the Solicitors’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund, under s.367 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. For anyone that has experienced theft by a solicitor on or before 31 July 2008, the last day to make a claim for compensation is 7 February 2023.

The Solicitors’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund has continued to exist following the repeal of the Law Practitioner’s Act 1982. The purpose of this fund was to receive claims for compensation for theft by a solicitor occurring on or before 31 July 2008.

Since 2008, the Solicitors’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund has been superseded by the Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund. This is a different fund and is unaffected by the proposal to wind up the old fund. The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund continues to be available to receive claims.

Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund

The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund was introduced by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, and is maintained by the Law Society in order to protect lawyers’ clients against pecuniary loss arising from theft by lawyers.

The maximum amount payable by the Fidelity Fund by way of compensation to an individual claimant is limited to $100,000. Except in certain circumstances specified in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, the Fidelity Fund does not cover a client for any loss relating to money that a lawyer is instructed to invest on behalf of the client.

More information can be found online here.

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