Public Resources

Clients’ Protection Fund

Additional Info

VSB Contact Information
Phone: (804) 775-9426
E-mail: cpf@vsb.org
Administrator: Vivian R. Byrd
Counsel to CPF: Jane A. Fletcher
Deputy Executive Director: Renu M. Brennan

Clients’ Protection Fund Petition

Clients’ Protection Fund Rules

For more information about Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund, view the Virginia State Bar Video Brief.

What is the Clients’ Protection Fund?

The Virginia State Bar established the Clients’ Protection Fund to reimburse persons who suffer a financial loss because of dishonest conduct by a Virginia lawyer. Awards from the Clients' Protection Fund are discretionary and are not a matter of right.

Watch the video! For more information about Virginia State Bar Clients’ Protection Fund, view the Virginia State Bar Video Brief.

Why was the fund created?

The purpose of the Clients’ Protection Fund is to promote public confidence in the administration of justice and the honor and integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing all or part of losses sustained by clients or those to whom a fiduciary duty is owed as a result of a Virginia State Bar member’s dishonest conduct. The bar has a strong disciplinary system for reprimanding, suspending or disbarring lawyers who violate the strict standards of Virginia’s ethics rules. However, the state bar recognizes that a disciplinary system alone is not enough, and that it is desirable to protect the public from lawyers who mishandle funds.

How is it funded?

Virginia lawyers are assessed an annual fee of up to $25.00 to fund the Clients' Protection Fund.

Reimbursable losses must meet the following tests:

1. The loss was caused by the dishonest conduct of the lawyer, not by negligence or malpractice.

2.  The loss arose from a lawyer-client relationship or a fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and the claimant.

3. The claim is filed within seven years from when the petitioner knew or should have known about the loss.

4. One of the following applies to the lawyer:

  • The lawyer has been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law for disciplinary reasons;
  • The lawyer has voluntarily resigned from the practice of law;
  • The lawyer has died;
  • The lawyer has been found mentally incompetent; or
  • The lawyer’s whereabouts is unknown to the Virginia State Bar.

5. The amount of the loss can be documented.

Who investigates the claims and grants payments from the fund?

A fourteen-member board appointed by the Virginia State Bar Council operates the fund. Members of the board investigate each claim, and the board reviews the results of the investigation to decide whether a claim is approved or denied, and if approved, the amount of reimbursement.

Is there a limit on how much a petitioner can receive?

Yes. Each petitioner may receive no more than $75,000.00 for losses that occurred on or after July 1, 2015 or $50,000.00 for losses that occurred before July 1, 2015.

How are claims filed?

If you believe your loss fits within the requirements outlined, download a petition for reimbursement form, complete the editable PDF form, and mail it to the address on the form or e-mail it to cpf@vsb.org.

If you have any questions you may contact Vivian Byrd at (804) 775-0572.

Clients’ Protection Fund Petition

Updated: Aug 16, 2017