How and when to make a claim - Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

Compensation – How and when to make a claim

How to make a claim

You may be entitled to compensation if you have lost money or property after a lawyer, an employee of a law practice or an approved barrister’s clerk has dealt with your money or property in a dishonest or fraudulent manner.

Before you can make a claim for compensation, you must first discuss your claim with a Fidelity Fund claims officer to discuss. If your claim is one we can accept, we will send you a claim form to complete and explain the claims process.

Please also ensure that you have read the fact sheet Making a claim against the Fidelity Fund (154KB PDF).

The claim form will collect information to help us decide on your claim. We may also ask you for more information or evidence of your loss at a later date. This might include documents or statements which help support your claim. We may disallow your claim if you do not provide the information or evidence we ask for.

You may choose to hire a lawyer to help you make your claim for compensation.

When to make a claim

The law sets a six-month time limit for making a compensation claim. You therefore have six months to make a claim after you become aware that you have suffered a loss.

If you do not make a claim within that six month claim period, we may extend the timeframe to allow you to make your claim. You would need to give us full details of why it is late. We can investigate a late claim if we are satisfied with your reasons.

If we do not accept your late claim, you are entitled to apply to the Supreme Court of Victoria to have the statutory timeframe extended.

How much can be claimed

There is no limit to how much you can claim in compensation. Where we find that a claim is payable, we will assess the information and decide on the amount to pay you.

Legal costs and fees

There are no fees for making a claim for compensation.

If you engaged a lawyer to make a claim on your behalf, you will usually be billed by that lawyer for their work. If your claim is partially or wholly successful, we may agree to pay some or all of those legal costs.

Special circumstances may cause us to allow a claim but decide not to pay any legal costs. If this occurs, we will explain to you why. We may also disallow your claim but decide to pay part or all of your legal costs if we consider it appropriate to do so.

If we decide to pay any part of your legal costs, we will have those costs independently assessed. You should discuss what this means with your lawyer. Any payments for legal costs will be made directly to your lawyer.

For more information, please refer to the Fact sheet: Payment of legal your legal costs when making a claim against the Fidelity Fund (105KB PDF).

Interest payments

Unless there are special circumstances, we may pay you interest on your loss. This would be calculated from the time that you made your claim up until to the time we finalised your claim. For claims made on or after 1 July 2015, interest is paid at a simple rate of 5%.

 

Last modified December 7, 2017.