Thursday 10 November 2016
Hansard of the Legislative Council
Solicitors' Guarantee Fund
Mr FINCH question on behalf of Ms RATTRAY to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
A further question to the Leader on behalf of the member for Apsley.
(1) What is the current quantum of the Solicitors' Guarantee Fund?
(2) How many applications for compensation have been made to the fund?
(3) How many claimants were successful?
(4) What is the cost of the Legal Profession Board and the tribunal being paid from the fund?
(5) What grants have been provided and to whom?
Madam Acting President, I thank the honourable member for Rosevears for the honourable member for Apsley's questions.
(1) On 18 May 2016 the Chair of the Solicitors' Trust wrote to advise that the Solicitors' Guarantee Fund had a current excess above the base level of $8.7 million of $2.7 million. I, as the Attorney-General, have sought more recent advice as to the current amount of the excess so I can consider grant applications
(2) I am advised by the Trust that there have been no applications for compensation to the fund for several years. I am further advised the last claims received were from former clients of one individual practitioner, six to seven years ago. Approximately 60 of these claims were made. Approximately 50 of these claims were successful with the total amount being paid out of the Solicitors' Guarantee Fund being approximately $430 000.
(3) See response to question (2).
(4) In accordance with section 359(3) of the Legal Profession Act 2007, the amount of $967 935 was approved to be paid to the Legal Profession Board of Tasmania from the Solicitors' Guarantee Fund, being the moneys necessary to cover its estimated expenditures.
(4A) The financial year 2016-17.
(5) I am currently considering this year's applications and have requested advice as to the current quantum of excess funds available for distribution.