Twenty years ago, an investigative task force appointed by the Law Society of Upper Canada1 made a sobering discovery: the fund established to pay for professional indemnity claims against Ontario lawyers was underfunded by over $200 million dollars. The resulting crisis presented the bar in Ontario with one of the most serious challenges in its history. It also prompted the delegation of the primary professional liability program to the organization you have come to know as LAWPRO, a highly specialized, innovative, and solvent licensed insurance company owned by the Law Society.

As of the fall of 2014, LAWPRO insured about 25,000 Ontario lawyers, managed over $600 million in cash and investments, and had shareholder’s equity of $200 million. Out of the insurance crisis of the 1990s has arisen a professional liability powerhouse, committed to values of professionalism, innovation, integrity, service and leadership. And its main business (90 per cent of its gross revenue) continues to be providing the Ontario private practice bar with its primary layer of professional liability insurance protection.

This article by Kathleen Waters (President & CEO of LAWPRO) from the February 2014 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, looks at the growth and development of LAWPRO over the past twenty years. Past presidents Malcolm Heins and Michelle Strom also give their perspective on the challenges and opportunities that shaped LAWPRO into the company it is today.