Making a Financial Claim to the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association (ALIA):

If a lawyer made a mistake or failed to do something, including missing a deadline, you can make a financial claim.

  • If a lawyer made a mistake or failed to do something, including missing a deadline, you can make a financial claim. You can start a financial claim even if you do not get legal advice that your lawyer had acted negligently. An Examiner at ALIA will review your information and contact the lawyer complained about. The lawyer will then need to send a letter to ALIA describing the services they provided to you after having taken your retainer money. Next, the Examiner will contact you with the purpose of resolving the conflict between you and the lawyer. ALIA will give you money if the Examiner finds that your lawyer was negligent and that you suffered a financial loss because of your lawyer’s negligence.
  • ALIA may compensate you partially, fully, or not at all, depending on the Examiner’s decision based on the review of your claim. There is no limit for the amount of money that you can claim, and ALIA does not have a limit on how much money they will compensate you with.
  • You can start a financial claim by writing a letter to ALIA. Your letter needs to include:
    • Name of the lawyer and law firm;
    • Lawyer’s file number (if you know it);
    • The legal service provided to you (such as assistance with a   refugee claim or humanitarian application, or representation at court/hearings);
    • Dates of the lawyer’s service;
    • What you think the lawyer did wrong or failed to do;
    • How the lawyer’s mistakes or failures resulted in financial loss to you;
    • Your address and daytime phone number; and
    • Documentation to prove your financial loss.
  • You need to send your form to:
    • Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association
      Suite 500, 919 11 Avenue SW
      Calgary, Alberta T2R 1P3
      403.229.4716 or 1.800.661.1694
  • An Examiner at ALIA will decide if your lawyer was negligent based on whether:
    • There was a duty of care between you and the lawyer;
    • The lawyer breached a standard of care;
    • There was a financial loss; and
    • Your loss was due to the lawyer’s actions.

You can e-mail ALIA with questions at alia@lawsociety.ab.ca or call them at 403-229-4716.