The Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia (LIANS), a not-for-profit company established by the Legal Profession Act, provides the mandatory professional liability insurance to practicing insured members of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. LIANS, as established and operated pursuant to the Legal Profession Act and its Regulations, is managed by a Board of Directors.
LIANS is a member of the Canadian Lawyers’ Insurance Association (CLIA), an Alberta licensed insurance reciprocal. CLIA, in addition to being the insurer for the program and providing the mandatory professional liability insurance to eight other jurisdictions in Canada, also provides a voluntary excess insurance program.
LIANS’ mission is to conduct the mandatory professional liability insurance program for the benefit of the Members, which program includes providing risk and practice management (RPM) resources and administering the Society’s Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP).
LIANS’ vision is to be recognized by the Members and similar insurance programs in Canada for the superior quality and management of its professional liability and RPM programs and to continually meet its goals and objectives.
To achieve its vision, LIANS is guided by four strategic directions: (i) maintain financial stability and strength; (ii) oversee the LAP and its RPM initiatives; (iii) ensure Member satisfaction with its work on their behalf; and (iv) develop appropriate governance policies, procedures and controls.
LIANS’ predecessor, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Liability Claims Fund, was incorporated in 1990 pursuant to Section 37 of the Barristers and Solicitors Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 30.The Fund was set up as an arm of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society to administer the insurance program and reported to a Board of Directors. Prior to 1990, the insurance program was managed by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society through its governing body, Bar Council.
Professional liability insurance was made mandatory by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society for all practicing members in 1972. The mandatory program, effective July 1 of that year, had a limit of liability of $100,000 and was subject to a $2,500 deductible. Initially the insurance was purchased in the commercial marketplace but this changed in 1989 when CLIA was established. The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society joined CLIA at its inception. From the mandatory program’s inception in 1972, the limit of liability had been gradually increasing such that by 1989 it was $1,000,000. The deductible for individual lawyers at that time remained at $2,500 and the Society assumed a group deductible or self-retention of $100,000 per claim.
In 1991, the individual deductible increased to $5,000 per claim. The per claim limit remained at $1,000,000. In 1997, an aggregate limit of $2,000,000 was added to the policy.
The group deductible or self-retention has also increased since 1989 and it is now $500,000.
Our name change from the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Liability Claims Fund to the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia came into effect with proclamation of the 2004 Legal Profession Act.
GOVERNING LEGISLATION FOR OUR PROGRAM
The legislation governing LIANS is the Legal Profession Act, S.N.S. 2004, available in ‘Regulation’ on the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society site.