The Clients’ Protection Fund Board

Margaret A. Nelson, Chair

The Clients’ Protection Fund was established in 1976 to make monetary awards to people who have suffered financial losses because of the dishonest conduct of Virginia lawyers. The fund is managed by a fourteen-member board appointed by the Virginia State Bar Council.  Board members investigate all petitions from clients for payments from the fund. The board hears each petition and determines the amount of loss.

As of July 1, 2016, forty-nine (49) claims were pending from the previous year. In FY 2017, fifty-two (52) new petitions were received. The total amount paid during 2016-2017 was $343,428 .86 representing fifty (50) claims. The board denied fourteen (14) petitions, and thirteen (13) petitions were rejected for not meeting the CPF rule requirements. One (1) claim was withdrawn by the petitioner.  As of June 30, 2017, there were twenty-three (23) pending claims. The board reviewed and investigated sixty-two (62) claims during the year. 

The fund began the fiscal year on July 1, 2016, with a cash balance of $8,309,226.  The Clients’ Protection Fund $25 assessment from all active attorneys totaled $805,600.  Interest income, net of bank service charges for the fiscal year, totaled $110,900.  The fund received restitutions from attorney general’s collections, debt set-off, and individual restitutions in the amount of $34,251 net of attorney’s fees for collection services. As of June 30, 2017, the cash balance in the fund was $8,911,684.

The Clients’ Protection Fund board members are to be commended for the many hours spent investigating and deliberating claims submitted to the board.  In addition, to performing its regular work reviewing petitions, the board undertook and completed two major strategic tasks in 2016-2017.  First, our Finance Subcommittee provided extensive leadership and strategic recommendations when challenged by the upheaval in the global financial markets which had rippling effects on our Clients’ Protection Funds after the Brexit vote in June 2016. Additionally, our Rules and Procedures Subcommittee provided an extensive detailed review and revision of the board's governing rules and procedures for operation.  After many hours of review and deliberation of the extensive recommendations presented by both subcommittees, these amendments were approved by the entire board.  Notably, Bar Council unanimously approved our recommendations for amendments to the Client Protection Fund Rules and Procedures at its February 2017 meeting.  Finally, appreciation is extended to retiring board member Doris Henderson Causey after her years of service on the board. 

The board welcomes Paul G. Gill from the third disciplinary district as a new member for the fiscal year 2017-2018.

Updated: Jul 31, 2017