How claims are determined
When the Board receives a claim, it will be analysed and further information may be required from the claimant. A claim may also be referred for investigation by specialist investigators at the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV). The Board has an agreement with the LIV to investigate claims on its behalf, either in part or in full. The claimant may be contacted by Board staff or the LIV in relation to the claim.
The Board will consider the evidence and make a decision about whether the claim should be allowed, partly allowed or disallowed.
Claims are generally finalised within 6 to 12 months, however, the Board will advise the claimant in writing if it appears that the claim will take more than 12 months to finalise.
Factors affecting the outcome of a claim
The Board may allow, partly allow or disallow a claim in full. There are several reasons why a claim might be partly or wholly disallowed, these include:
- the Board does not find that a default has occurred;
- the claimant was involved in the act or omission which gave rise to the claim;
- the claimant was negligent or contributed to the loss;
- the conduct of the law practice or lawyer was illegal and the claimant knew, or should have known this;
- proper and usual records of the transaction were not maintained or were destroyed and the claimant knew, or should have known this; or
- the claimant has unreasonably refused to disclose information or to cooperate with the investigation.
If a claim is unsuccessful, the claimant will receive a notice from the Board setting out the reasons for the decision and how the claimant may appeal the decision.
An appeal must be lodged within 30 days after receiving the written notice from the Board about the decision.