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Compensation for financial loss

If you have lost money or property held in trust by a lawyer, please instead see our Trust money compensation from the Fidelity Fund page.

Compensation orders 

We can only order a lawyer to pay you compensation if you have lost money as a direct result of the lawyer's action. It must also be in the interest of justice to do so.

We apply a legal test to decide what is fair and reasonable when we look into the circumstances of your case. This helps us to decide if your claim should be accepted and how much you should be paid for your loss.

We can only award up to a maximum of $25,000.

If your compensation claim for financial loss is more than $25,000 we suggest you seek independent legal advice about other options that may be available to you. 

What we need from you

  • Proof of your actual financial loss caused directly by your lawyer 
  • Tell us how much you should be paid and why

When can we help you?

  • You must be the client
  • You are able to provide us with proof of your actual financial loss and link this directly to your lawyer's actions
  • Your total loss is less than $25,000

When can't we help?

  • We don't award compensation for loss without proof 
  • We don't award compensation if you think the Court may have made a different decision if your lawyer handled your matter in another way
  • We don't award compensation for pain and suffering
  • We don't award compensation for loss of opportunity or other speculative losses
  • We don't deal with claims by commercial or government clients

Next steps

Submit your enquiry with us. We will explain what proof you need after we speak to you. We will then assess if compensation is payable, and let you know. 



A lawyer might be negligent if they cause a client to suffer financial or other loss because they did not exercise reasonable care and skill in the legal services they provided.

Common examples of this can include, if the lawyer:

  • fails to lodge relevant court forms on time
  • fails to make important enquiries about a property a client wants to buy.

We don't consider claims about negligence. 

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can hear disputes about negligence between a client and their lawyer.  We encourage you to seek independent legal advice before you decide the right approach for your circumstances.

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