3. Relevant Legislation
The Legal Profession Act [the Act], the Law Society Rules [the Rules] and the Code of Professional Conduct [the Code] all contain definitions and rules about a lawyer’s financial obligations and accountability for accurate and timely trust accounting.
The Act, the Rules and the Code are intended to ensure that:
- all clients’ money and valuable property in the possession of a law firm is properly safeguarded;
- the law firm always keeps all client money in trust separated from the general money used to operate the law firm;
- the law firm has a proper record keeping system in place which provides contemporaneous details of all trust and general transactions;
- at all times, the law firm has a complete and current permanent record for all financial transactions on each client matter;
- the law firm creates a permanent audit trail with supporting documents, which can be seen by the Law Society at any time.
Rule 5-56: Failure to comply with any of the rules in this division without reasonable excuse may constitute professional misconduct.