Bookkeeping Guide for Lawyers

Amended February 26, 2016 – Requirement to report opening and closing trust accounts: LFO Forms 2 and 3 removed and sample LSUC form added

Table of Contents

Preamble
Introduction: Why Keep Books and Records?
Types of Accounting Systems
Bank Accounts in a Law Practice
General Retainers
Cash Receipts
   1. General Account
   2. Trust Accounts
       a) Mixed Trust Account
       b) Separate Interest Bearing Trust Account
       c) Estate and Power of Attorney Accounts
       d) E-reg© Trust Account
Financial Institutions for Lawyers’ Trust Accounts
Maintaining Financial Records
Disbursing Trust Funds
Client Identification and Verification Requirements
Credit and Debit Card Payments
Automated Banking Machines
Conclusion
Sample Books & Records
   1. Trust Receipts Journal
   2. Trust Disbursements Journal
   3. Clients’ Trust Ledger
   4. Trust Transfer Record
   5. General Receipts Journal
   6. General Disbursements Journal
   7. Clients’ General Ledger
   8. Fees Book
   9. Trust Bank Reconciliation, Client Trust Listing and Trust Comparison
  10. a) Detailed Duplicate Trust Account Deposit Slip
        b) Detailed Duplicate General Account Deposit Slip
  11. Duplicate Cash Receipts Book
  12. a) Client Identification and Verification (individual client) - s 23 By-Law 7.1
        b) Client Identification and Verification (organization) - s 23 By-Law 7.1
  13. Valuable Property Record

Appendices

By-Law 9
          Form 9A - Sample Completed Form 9A
          Form 9B - Sample Completed Form 9B
          Form 9C - Sample Completed Form 9C
          Form 9D - Sample Completed Form 9D
          Form 9E - Sample Completed Form 9E
Sample Letter of Direction to the Law Foundation of Ontario  
Report on Opening or Closing a Trust Account
Payment of Registration Fees and Land Transfer Tax
Internal Control Self Assessment Guide
Use of Credit Cards in The Legal Practice
Private Mortgages - Record Keeping
Estates - Financial Record Keeping

 

Preamble

We have written this Guide to help lawyers of the Law Society of Upper Canada and their staff cope with the more common bookkeeping issues in a law office and also to better understand the Law Society’s By-Law 9. While written especially with sole practitioners and small firms in mind, these recommendations can be used in any size law office. The Guide provides general advice; it does not cover every possible situation that can arise in a law office and it is not legal advice. If you have questions about the By-Laws, you can call the Law Society Resource Centre at 416-947-3315 or toll free in Ontario 1-800-668-7380 ext. 3315. You can also check the Law Society’s Web site: www.lsuc.on.ca. If you have specific bookkeeping, accounting or tax questions, we suggest that you consult an accountant or lawyer who practices in these areas.

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Introduction: Why Keep Books and Records?

There are several reasons to keep books and records:

The Law Society sets out in By-Law 9, the minimum requirements for books and records to be maintained in a law practice. The minimum requirements are aimed at protection of the public and therefore focus on trust records.

General trust law requires trustees, including lawyers holding client funds, to be able to account to beneficiaries at any time. In order to do this, you have to have recorded the money you received from each client, what money you disbursed for each client, and what the unexpended balance is for each client. You also have to keep your bank statements as an independent record (source document) of your trust transactions.

But the most important reason to keep books and records is because it is in your best interest. By maintaining complete, accurate and up to date records, you will have current financial information available so you can make sound financial decisions about your practice. Proper accounting records also help you to meet your statutory obligations in filing reports on time to the Canada Revenue Agency for income tax and HST, to the Lawyers Professional Indemnity Company for transaction levies, and to the Law Society for your Annual Report.

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Types of Accounting Systems

There are several different kinds of accounting systems: manual double entry, one write, spreadsheet software, general accounting software, and law firm accounting software. When choosing an accounting system you should consider what will work best in your practice - the number of transactions you have, whether you maintain your records yourself or hire someone to do them for you, what you can afford, and how well you understand bookkeeping and computer programs. Please note that the Law Society cannot make this decision for you. You must determine what system is right for you and your practice.

Type of system

Advantages

Disadvantages

manual double entry

  • simple
  • inexpensive
 
  • time consuming if large number of transactions
  • does not automatically post to subledgers
  • arithmetic errors more common
 

one write

  • simple
  • inexpensive
  • posts to subledgers
 
  • time consuming if large number of transactions
  • arithmetic errors more common
 

spreadsheet software

  • inexpensive
  • automatic calculations
 
  • time consuming if large number of transactions
  • requires training
  • errors due to incorrect formulae are more difficult to detect
 

general accounting software

  • automatic calculations
  • posts to subledgers
  • produces financial reports
 
  • reports not designed for trust accounting
  • requires training
 

legal accounting software

  • designed for trust accounting
  • automatic calculations
  • posts to subledgers
  • produces financial reports
 
  • expensive
  • requires training
 

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Bank Accounts in a Law Practice

You may have as many bank accounts as you need to operate your practice, but keep in mind that each bank account increases your record keeping obligations.

Most law firms will have at least one general account and one mixed trust account. It is important to understand what money goes into your trust account and what money goes into your general account.

Whenever you receive money:

  • on behalf of a client
  • for future disbursements
  • for future or unbilled legal services
  • an overpayment of your billed services

you are to pay it immediately into a trust account. Once you receive trust funds you should deposit them by the end of the next banking day. In the case of an overpayment of your billed services, you must transfer the amount that belongs to you to your general account as soon as practical. Depending on the client’s instructions, you could either hold the overpayment in trust for the client for future fees and disbursements or return it to the client.

Whenever you receive money that is entirely:

  • payment for completed legal services for which you have sent the client a bill
  • reimbursement for proper expenses you have made on behalf of a client
  • your or your firm’s money
  • a general monetary retainer

you are not to pay it into your trust account. This money would normally be deposited into your general account.

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A word about general monetary retainers

Before deciding that a payment is a general retainer, you should be aware that the Law Society has established the following criteria for general monetary retainers:

  1. the onus is on you to establish that the retainer is a bona fide general retainer;
  2. a written agreement between you and your client which describes the payment as a general retainer, will not be accepted as conclusive, and the circumstances surrounding the payment will be scrutinized carefully;
  3. it will be concluded that a retainer is a specific retainer which must be deposited in your trust account where your client does not understand the nature of the general retainer agreement and intended the payment to cover specific legal services to be provided, and where the total amount paid by the client, including the general retainer, is comparable to your usual fee for the services provided.

General monetary retainers are extremely rare as clients are likely to expect that any payment to their lawyer is intended to go toward payment of their legal fees.

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Cash Receipts

When you receive cash, whether in trust or for your general account, you must prepare a duplicate cash receipt that identifies:

  • the date of receipt
  • the person from whom the cash is received
  • the amount of cash received
  • the client for whom the cash is received and any related file number

and containing:

  • your signature or the signature of a person authorized by you to accept cash
  • the signature of the person from whom the cash is received

There is a sample duplicate cash receipt in the Sample Books and Records section of this Guide: document #11.

Please note that you may not accept cash equivalent to $7,500 Cdn or more, from a person with respect to any one client file except as permitted by section 6 of By-Law 9.

General Account

The general account is your firm’s operating account. This is the account you use to:

  • deposit payments from clients you have billed for completed legal services
  • pay your firm’s expenses: rent, office supplies, staff salaries, bank charges, etc.
  • pay disbursements on behalf of your clients
  • pay yourself

No money belonging to clients should be in this account.

Try to avoid using a personal account as your firm’s general account. Whatever accounts you use for your practice must be produced on an audit. Personal accounts may not have the bank statements, returned cheques and duplicate deposit slips you are required to keep. For convenience it is usually best to have your general bank account at the same financial institution as your trust account.

Trust Accounts

The trust account is for your clients’ money, so if you do not receive trust funds in your practice you do not need to open a trust account. Trust accounts are only to be used for the provision of legal services: Rules of Professional Conduct,
rule 3.2-7.3

Trust accounts are the accounts you use, for purposes related to the provision of legal services, to:

  • deposit money you receive from your clients to be paid to another party
  • deposit money you receive from other parties on behalf of your clients
  • deposit money you receive from clients for future legal services and disbursements
  • disburse money as directed by your clients
  • reimburse your firm for proper expenses you have made on behalf of your clients
  • transfer money to your general account for fees after you have sent a bill to your client for completed legal services

Avoid trust funds languishing in trust accounts. You should review your client trust ledger accounts monthly. Any amounts that can be billed and transferred to the general account or refunded to the client should be done promptly. If the trust reconciliation shows cheques that have been outstanding for more than a few months, follow up with the payees to find out whether they received the cheques. Once a cheque is stale dated, (i.e. has not been cashed within six months from the date of the cheque), you should stop payment on the cheque, re-establish the liability in the client trust ledger account for the applicable client, and reissue the cheque if appropriate. If you are unable to locate the client, despite having made reasonable efforts to do so throughout a period of two years, you can apply to pay the money to the Law Society’s Unclaimed Trust Fund. Information on the fund and the Application Form can be found on the Law Society website.

Whenever you open or close a trust account, you must immediately inform the Law Society in writing of the location and account number of any account into which you have deposited client trust funds: By-Law 8 subsection 4(1)5. There is a sample Report in the Appendices.  

There are different kinds of trust accounts:

a) Mixed Trust Account

The most common type of trust account in a law office is called a “mixed” or “pooled” trust account. These trust accounts are any accounts that hold money for more than one client. When opening a mixed trust account, you must give a written direction to your financial institution to pay any interest on the account directly to The Law Foundation of Ontario. You should send a copy of this letter to the LFO.

Make sure that the agreement you sign when opening a mixed trust account directs the institution to deduct any service charges for your trust account from your general account and does not allow the financial institution to remove any money from your trust account on its own. However, if you deposit a cheque to your trust account and it is returned “not sufficient funds” or NSF, your financial institution will deduct that amount from your account because your financial institution never received the money. Be careful not to disburse funds from your trust account on behalf of a client until the cheques for that client have cleared, that is, your financial institution has received the money from your client’s financial institution. You should check with your financial institution to find out how many days it requires to clear a cheque.

Whenever you receive trust funds, you must immediately deposit them into a trust account that is in your name or in the name of the firm where you are either a partner or an employee. You should deposit any trust money you receive by the end of the next banking day. If you are a sole practitioner practising in association with other lawyers, you must have your own separate trust account and separate books and records for your trust transactions. Your trust account should be clearly identified as “trust” on your bank statement and cheques.

By May 30 each year, you should contact your bank branch to update the information on the beneficiaries of any mixed trust accounts as of April 30 of that year, for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) purposes; eligible deposits are insured up to a maximum of $100,000 per beneficiary (i.e. client) of the trust account. Please contact your bank branch or the CDIC for details or consult the CDIC website for specific information about solicitors’ trust accounts and The Joint and Trust Disclosure By-Law: http://www.cdic.ca/ForMI/DisclosureByLaw/Pages/default.aspx

b) Separate Interest Bearing Trust Account

This type of trust account holds trust funds for only one client. Typical separate interest bearing accounts are passbook accounts, GICs, and Term Deposits. The interest on these accounts belongs to the client and should be recorded in your trust receipt records as it is earned for each client. Similarly, any service charges are charged to the clients and recorded as disbursements for those clients. You should ensure that the account is set up in your or your firm’s name in trust for [client name].

Whenever you are going to be holding large sums of money for a client for an extended period of time, you should discuss with the client whether he or she wants interest on the money. You should get the client’s instructions in writing, taking care that the client is not looking to you for investment or financial advice.

If the client does instruct you to put his or her money in a separate interest bearing account, consider whether the money will be required on short notice since some investments have reduced or no interest on early redemption. Also, decide how interest will be handled and record the client’s S.I.N. and/or corporate number for allocation of interest income for income tax.

Be careful when funds are in dispute; for instance, the proceeds of the sale of a matrimonial home following a separation or divorce. Some lawyers end up holding these funds for years while the parties negotiate. When you are asked to hold funds in an interest bearing account, consider getting written instructions from all parties that allow you to charge a monthly fee for administering the funds if the parties have not agreed on the disposition of the funds within a reasonable time, for example, three to six months.

c) Estate and Power of Attorney Accounts

If you exercise a power of attorney, or have sole signing authority over estate assets as a sole estate trustee or as a solicitor with control of the estate assets, you must keep proper trust accounting records. You should consider placing the estate funds in a separate bank account in the name of the estate, if you are the estate trustee, or in the name of your firm in trust for the estate, if you are the solicitor controlling the estate funds. If you are a co-estate trustee and are not maintaining the estate books and records, you should ensure that proper trust accounting records are kept, that you receive a copy of these records, and that you review them for accuracy at least monthly, since estate accounts are a responsibility of the estate trustee. Similarly, if you exercise a power of attorney over a client’s bank account, you should keep complete trust accounting records of all transactions for which you are responsible and reconcile these accounts monthly. See the Appendices for more information on estate financial record keeping.

d) E-reg© Trust Account

These are special trust accounts you set up to authorize Teranet to withdraw the registration fees and land transfer tax for electronic registrations in Ontario’s land registry system.

These accounts are mixed trust accounts, and you must direct your financial institution to pay the interest on these accounts to The Law Foundation of Ontario.

E-reg© trust accounts also have very specific rules:

  • direct deposits or transfers from your regular mixed trust account must be the exact amounts for land transfer tax and registration fees
  • you must transfer the funds deposited to this account for any one transaction back to your regular mixed trust account if you do not register the documents within five days
  • you must complete a separate Form 9B before each Teranet withdrawal from this account
  • you must print the confirmation of the Teranet withdrawal from this account, compare it to the corresponding Form 9B for accuracy, and sign and date the confirmation.

See sections 15, 16, and 17 of By-Law 9 in the Appendices.

Note: You do not have to use a trust account for your e-reg© account; you may use a general account. None of the restrictions described in sections 15, 16, and 17 of By-Law 9 apply to a general e-reg© account, but you must complete the electronic registration before you transfer the client’s funds from your regular mixed trust account to your general e-reg© account to reimburse your firm for the registration fees and land transfer tax. It is a good idea to arrange adequate overdraft protection on this account.

For a more detailed discussion of the use of trust and general accounts as e-reg© accounts, see Payment of Registration Fees and Land Transfer Tax in the Appendices.

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Financial Institutions for Lawyers’ Trust Accounts

Your trust accounts must be kept at one of the following institutions:

  • chartered bank
  • provincial savings office
  • credit union or league subject to the Credit Unions and Caisse Populaires Act, 1994
  • registered trust corporation

When opening a trust account, check with the financial institution to make sure

  • it has an agreement with The Law Foundation of Ontario for the payment of interest on mixed trust accounts
  • it can provide you with the monthly bank statements and returned cheques, including certified cheques, as required by By-Law 9 (imaged cheques, clearly showing front and back of cashed cheques, are acceptable)

A client might ask you to hold trust funds in an account that is not at one of the above-noted institutions. For example, the client could ask you to hold the trust funds in Treasury Bills or a money market fund. In these situations, section 8 of By-Law 9 requires you to get written instructions from your client to pay the money into a non guaranteed trust investment. This money, however, must be recorded in your trust records as it is still your client’s money and considered trust funds for the purposes of By-Law 9.

The same precautions that apply to separate interest bearing trust accounts also apply to these types of investments. These kinds of investments are generally not guaranteed, so you will want to be sure your client understands the nature of the investment and whether there will be sufficient funds available when the client needs them before accepting your client’s written instructions.

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Maintaining Financial Records

You must keep your financial records available for the time periods set out in section 23 of By-Law 9. This means you must keep the records described in section 18 of By-Law 9 for:

1. The most recent six (6) full years plus the current year: 

  • record of transfers between clients’ trust ledger accounts
  • General account receipts and disbursements journals
  • fees book or chronological file of bills to clients
  • signed authorizations of withdrawals by Teranet (Form 9B)
  • signed paper copies of confirmations of Teranet withdrawals
  • book of duplicate cash receipts

2. The most recent ten (10) full years plus the current year:

  • Trust account receipts and disbursements journals
  • client trust ledger
  • monthly trust comparisons for all trust accounts supported by trust account reconciliations and client trust listings
  • valuable property record
  • bank statements, including GIC, term deposit or other bank confirmations; pass books; cashed cheques, including certified cheques and any imaged cheques if provided by your financial institutions in place of the actual cheques; detailed duplicate deposit slips
  • signed requisitions for electronic transfers of trust funds (Form 9A)
  • signed printed confirmations of electronic transfers of trust funds

While By-Law 9 obliges you to keep your records current at all times, ensuring your financial records are accurate, legible, detailed, and up to date will help you to run your law practice more efficiently. It can be very costly both in time and money and can damage your client relationships to let your records fall into arrears. See the “Sample Books and Records” in this booklet for some examples of financial records required by section 18 of By-Law 9.

While section 21 of By-Law 9 permits you to keep your financial records electronically, you must be able to produce paper copies of your records for the Law Society for the time periods described above. We suggest you print your journals and records monthly to avoid the all too common problems with computer crashes, data corruption and software update incompatibility. If you prepare any of your financial records by hand they must be permanent, i.e. in ink.

Keep in mind that whether you do your own record keeping, assign it to a staff member or retain a bookkeeper or accountant to maintain it, you, (and your partners if any), are responsible for ensuring that your firm maintains the required records and follows the money handling requirements in By-Law 9. You should ensure that whoever is maintaining your accounting records is familiar with the Law Society’s By-Law 9. Some items you and your staff should be vigilant about are:

  • overdrawn or inactive client trust ledger accounts
  • uncorrected or unexplained reconciling items on the trust bank reconciliations
  • trust receipts and deposits outstanding beyond the following banking day
  • review of the trust comparison for accuracy by the 25th of the following month

You should ensure that you have control of your accounting records at all times and that they are kept secure and confidential.

Consult the sample Internal Control Self Assessment Guide in the Appendices for these and other internal controls appropriate for your office, especially if your firm handles client trust funds, to ensure you and your staff are following the correct record keeping and money handling procedures.

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Disbursing Trust Funds

It is important to have an audit trail, recording each step and preserving original and supporting documentation (source documents), for all transactions in a business, but especially if you handle client trust funds. A licensee of the Law Society who is permitted to handle trust funds must always initiate a trust disbursement and do so in writing, which then becomes part of the accounting records. Undischarged bankrupt licensees are not permitted to handle or have trust accounts in their names (section 2 of By-Law 9).

Section 9 of By-law 9 allows you to withdraw trust funds you are holding for a client for the following reasons only:

  • to make a proper payment to or on behalf of the client
  • to reimburse your firm for proper expenses incurred on behalf of the client
  • to pay your firm fees for completed legal services for which you have sent a fee bill to the client
  • to transfer funds to another trust account for a client
  • to withdraw funds that according to By-Law 9 should not have been deposited to the trust account

You may disburse trust funds by cheque, bank draft and wiring funds through your bank. You may disburse trust funds by internet banking only if you follow the requirements of section 12 of By-Law 9. If you withdraw trust funds to pay your fees and/or disbursements, section 10 of By-Law 9 limits you to the follow methods: a cheque payable to you or your law firm, transfer to a non trust account in your or your firm’s name, electronic transfer. Withdrawing trust funds in cash is risky and should only be done on the client’s written instructions; but note that if you received fees, disbursements, expenses, or bail in cash, Section 6(e) of By-Law 9 requires that you make any refund of those payments in cash. You should always get a detailed receipt signed by the payee for any cash disbursement.

Do not disburse trust funds from an automated teller machine, as you will not have an adequate audit trail. Always check your clients’ trust ledger to ensure you hold sufficient funds in trust for a particular client before disbursing funds for that client. You should confirm your financial institution’s holding periods on funds to be sure cheques you have deposited from clients have cleared and will not be returned NSF (not sufficient funds).

1. Cheques vs Bank Drafts

You should be aware that cheques leave a better audit trail than bank drafts. Cashed cheques, including certified cheques, are your records and you must arrange for your financial institution to return them to you with your bank statements each month. Some financial institutions provide imaged cheques which are sent to your firm electronically. Bank drafts are the financial institution’s records. Financial institutions do not usually retain their original records for the ten year time period that you are required to keep your bank records. Returned cheques confirm that the funds have cleared and have the endorsement details on the back. Your copy of a bank draft will not confirm any of this information and you may have to spend time and money to obtain a copy of the bank draft from your financial institution to prove payment.

If you have any doubts about the validity of a cheque, certified cheque, money order, bank draft, or other receipt to be deposited to your mixed trust account, you might want to consider depositing it to a separate trust account; if the instrument does turn out to be fraudulent, your mixed trust account will not be affected. Be vigilent not disburse any trust funds until your financial institution can assure you that the funds have cleared. Different institutions have different clearing periods depending on the source of the funds. For time sensitive disbursements, consider the Large Value Transactions System: see the FAQs on the Canadian Payments association web site and LVTS article on the LawPRO website.

You must not issue trust cheques or bank drafts payable to “cash” or “bearer” (section 11 of By-law 9) and you should withdraw cash from the trust account only when necessary (e.g. refunds of fees, disbursements, expenses, or bail paid in cash as per section 6(e) of By-Law 9), or on the client’s written direction, and always obtain a detailed receipt for your audit trail.

2. Internet Trust Disbursements

If you disburse any funds by Internet banking, you must follow the procedure set out in section 12 of By-Law 9:

  • complete a Form 9A for each client transaction (See the Appendices for a sample completed Form 9A)
  • (This Form must be signed by a person who has signing authority on your trust account. Except for exceptional circumstances, this must be a licensee of the Law Society who is entitled to hold trust funds.)

  • one person using a password, enters the transfer data as set out in the Form 9A

  • another person with a separate password, authorizes the transfer
  • (A sole practitioner without employees may both enter the data and authorize the transaction.)

  • print the electronic confirmation of the transaction that must include:
    1. your trust account number
    2. name, branch, and address of the account to which the funds have been transferred
    3. name of the account to which the funds have been transferred
    4. number of the account to which funds have been transferred
    5. time and date the transaction details and authorization were received by your financial institution
    6. time and date the confirmation of the transaction is sent to you from the financial institution

    (While this confirmation must be obtained by the end of the next banking day, realistically it may not be available unless it is printed immediately.)

  • no later than the close of the second banking day after the transaction,
    1. compare the Form 9A with the printed confirmation and verify that the money was withdrawn as specified in the Form 9A
    2. write the client name, client matter and any file number on the printed confirmation
    3. sign and date the printed confirmation.

Both the Form 9A and printed confirmation should be kept in numerical order by requisition number with your financial records. You may want to keep a copy in the client’s file as well.

3. Internet Trust Disbursements for Real Estate Transactions

Section 13 of By-Law 9 has a specific procedure for electronically disbursing “closing funds”, which are defined as “money necessary to complete or close a transaction in real estate”. The procedure requires that you:

  • complete and sign a Form 9C for each client transaction prior to the transfer (see the Appendices for a sample completed Form 9C) (This Form must be signed by a person who has signing authority on your trust account.)
  • use an electronic transfer system that requires a password
  • use an electronic transfer system that immediately produces a confirmation of the transfer
  • print the confirmation which must have the following information:
    1. the name of your account
    2. the number of your account
    3. the name of the account to which the closing funds are transferred
    4. the number of the account to which the closing funds are transferred
    5. the date of the transfer

By 5:00 p.m. on the day after the transfer, you must compare the printed confirmation with the Form 9C and satisfy yourself that the transfer was completed in accordance with your directions in the Form 9C. You must then write the name of the client, the subject matter, and number of the file on the confirmation; then sign and date the confirmation. The Form 9C and confirmations should be kept in numerical order by requisition number with your accounting records. You may also want to keep copies in the client file. As noted above in the section on Cheques vs Bank Drafts, you might want to consider the LVTS system for time sensitive money transfers.

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Client Identification and Verification Requirements - By-Law 7.1 Part III

As of December 31, 2008, subsection 22(1) of By-Law 7.1 requires that you obtain specific details identifying your clients for all new client matters; and if you receive, pay or transfer funds, or if you give instructions to receive, pay or transfer funds, then you are also required to obtain verification of the client’s identification. You should review section 23 of By-Law 7.1 for the specific identification and verification requirements and subsections 22(2), (3) and (4) for exemptions for certain licensees, types of funds, and certain clients. You should familiarize yourself with the definitions in section 20 and also for how long you must keep the client identification and verification information as set out in subsection 23(14) of the By-Law. There are sample completed identification forms for individuals and organizations in the Sample Books and Records and you can find more Law Society resources and further information on Client Identification and Verification Requirements.

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Credit and Debit Card Payments

If you accept credit or debit card payments from clients, you must make arrangements with your financial institution to have retainers for future fees and disbursements paid directly into your trust account and payments for your fee bills to clients paid directly into your general account. You cannot deposit both retainers and payments into one account then immediately transfer the funds that do not belong in that account to your other account. Thus, you will either use two machines, one for your trust account and one for your general account or one machine that has the capability to deposit future fees and disbursements directly into your trust account and payments for your fee bills to clients directly into your general account. See the Appendices for “Use of Credit Cards in The Legal Practice”.

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Automated Banking Machines

If your financial institution offers ABM access to your trust account, you may use it for deposits only. Ensure that your bank card is encoded for deposit only.  Read the agreement carefully and make sure you understand the risks involved in using this method of deposit. In some agreements the depositor is responsible for the funds until they are received by a bank representative. You should always print a receipt of an ABM deposit and write the source of the funds and the client reference on the receipt, and keep the receipts in date order with your deposit slips.

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Conclusion

We hope you find the information provided in this Guide assists you in maintaining the books and records of your practice.  Remember it is your responsibility as a Licensee of the Law Society to ensure your law firm is in compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Law Society’s By-Laws. Keeping clear, complete, and current financial records not only helps you to stay in compliance with the Law Society’s Rules and By-Laws, it will also make your practice operate more efficiently and allow you to provide better service to your clients. If you have any questions or comments on this Guide, please contact the Resource Centre at 416-947-3315, toll free in Ontario 1-800-668-7380 ext. 3315, or visit the Law Society’s website at www.lsuc.on.ca.

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Sample Books & Records

The following are examples of financial records described in By-law 9, showing how you can manually record the typical kinds of trust transactions that occur in a law office.

1.   Trust Receipts Journal - ss 18(1)

For each amount you receive in trust for a client, you must record:

  • date you received the money
  • method by which you received the money, for example: cheque, certified cheque, bank draft, money order, wire transfer, LVTS, cash, etc
  • person from whom you received the money
  • amount you received
  • purpose for which you received the money (By-Law amendment 28Apr11)
  • name of the client for whom you received the money
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor
TRUST RECEIPTS JOURNAL

Date
2010

Received from:
(Source of funds)

Client
Purpose of funds

Amount

Method

Jul 5

Peter Piper

Piper re Corporate
Retainer re: fees

565.00

 

Jul 7

Susan Silver

Silver re Adoption
Retainer re: fees

750.00

Chq

Jul 16

Peter Piper

Piper re Matrimonial
Retainer re: fees

1,500.00

Chq

Jul 30

Peter Piper

Piper re Matrimonial
Retainer re: fees

250.00

Cash

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 6

Peter Piper

Piper re Matrimonial
Retainer re: fees

250.00

Cash

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 30

Kim Kirby

Kirby re Loan to Taylor
Re: mortgage advance

40,000.00

Cert chq

Aug 31

Peter Piper

Piper re Matrimonial
Retainer re: fees

250.00

Cash


2.   Trust Disbursements Journal – ss 18(2)

For every payment you make from the trust account, you must record:

  • date you made the payment
  • method you used to make the payment, for example: cheque, certified cheque, bank draft, electronic trust transfer, etc
  • number of the document you used to make the payment, for example: cheque number, bank draft number, electronic trust transfer requisition number
  • person to whom you made the payment
  • amount of the payment
  • purpose for which you disbursed the money (By-Law amendment 28Apr11)
  • name of the client on whose behalf you made the payment
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister Solicitor
TRUST DISBURSEMENTS JOURNAL

Date
2010

Method / #

Paid To:
(Person money paid to)

Client &
Purpose of payment

Amount

Jul 14

Chq #001

Leslie Lawyer

Piper re Corporate
Re: legal fees - Inv #002

     565.00

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 12

Chq #002

Leslie Lawyer

Piper re Matrimonial
Re: legal fees - Inv #004

  1,130.00

Aug 12

Chq #003

Leslie Lawyer

Silver re Adoption
Re: fees - Inv #005

     678.00

Aug 31

Chq #004

Treasurer of Anytown

Taylor re Mortgage
Re: Realty tax arrears

  5,500.00

Aug 31

Chq #005

Metro Mortgage Co.

Taylor re Mortgage
Re: Payout existing mtg

33,742.83

Aug 31

Chq #006

Terry Taylor

Taylor re Mortgage
Re: balance of mtg advance to mtgor

     233.87

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 7

Chq #007

Leslie Lawyer

Taylor re Mortgage:       523.30
Re: fees & disb - Inv #006
Piper re Matrimonial:  1,120.00
Re : fees - Inv #007

  1,643.30


3.   Clients’ Trust Ledger – ss 18(3)

Every time you record a trust receipt or payment in the trust receipts journal or trust disbursements journal, you must also record the receipt or payment for the specific client in the clients’ trust ledger, and calculate the unexpended balance for that client.  This way you always know exactly how much you have in trust for each client.

Record every deposit to your trust account in the name of the client on whose behalf you received it. The mixed trust account is for your clients’ money. Do not put any of your, or your firm’s money, such as a float to cover bank charges, in your trust account. There should be no trust ledger accounts in your name, your firm name, or any other name such as “miscellaneous”, “suspense”, or “unknown”, that is not a client’s name. Each client’s receipts, disbursements and balance are listed separately so you know how much you have in trust for each client. For convenience, most firms set up separate client trust ledger accounts for each separate matter for the same client so there will be a separate card or account for each client matter.  Together, these accounts make the clients’ trust ledger. You may keep copies of individual client trust ledger accounts for each client in the client files, but you must keep the entire ledger as part of your accounting records.

Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor
CLIENTS’ TRUST LEDGER


Account: KIRBY, Kim re Loan to Taylor

Date 2010

Particulars

Receipts

Disbursements

Balance

Aug 30

Mortgage advance

     40,000.00

 

40,000.00

Aug 31

Transfer to Taylor

 

     40,000.00

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


 
Account: PIPER, Peter re Corporate

Date 2010

Particulars

Receipts

Disbursements

Balance

Jul 5

Retainer re corporate

       565.00

 

     565.00

Jul 14

Transfer to general
Invoice #002

 

        565.00

0

 

 

 

 

 


 

Account: PIPER, Peter re Matrimonial

Date 2010

Particulars

Receipts

Disbursements

Balance

Jul 16

Retainer re matrimonial

1,500.00

 

1,500.00

Jul 30

Retainer re matrimonial

250.00

 

1,750.00

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 6

Retainer re matrimonial

250.00

 

2,000.00

Aug 12

Transfer to general
Invoice #004

 

1,130.00

870.00

Aug 31

Retainer re matrimonial

250.00

 

1,120.00

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 7

Transfer to general
Invoice #007

 

1,120.00

0

 

 

 

 

 


 

Account: SILVER, Susan re Adoption

Date 2010

Particulars

Receipts

Disbursements

Balance

Jul 7

Retainer

750.00

 

750.00

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 11

Transfer to general
Invoice #005

 

678.00

72.00

 

 

 

 

 


 

Account: TAYLOR, Terry re mortgage

Date
2010

Particulars

Receipts

Disbursements

Balance

Aug 31

Transfer from Kirby

40,000.00

 

40,000.00

Aug 31

Pay tax arrears

 

5,500.00

34,500.00  

Aug 31

Pay out existing mortgage

 

33,742.83

757.17

Aug 31

Balance of mortgage loan

 

233.87

523.30

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 7

Transfer to general
Invoice #006

 

523.30

        0

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.   Trust Transfer Record – ss 18(4)

Whenever trust funds are moved from one client’s trust ledger account to another client’s trust ledger account you must record the transfer and explain the purpose of the transfer.

Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor
TRUST TRANSFER RECORD

Date 2010

From client

To client

Amount

Reason

Jul 31

Kirby, Kim

Taylor, Terry

40,000.00

Mortgage Loan

 

5.   General Receipts Journal – ss 18(5)

For each amount you receive in your practice that is not trust money, record:

  • date you received the money
  • method by which you received the money, for example: cheque, certified cheque, bank draft, money order, wire transfer, LVTS, cash, etc
  • person from whom you received the money
  • amount you received
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister and Solicitor
GENERAL RECEIPTS JOURNAL

Date 2010

Received from: (Source of funds)

Amount

Method

Jun 30

Leslie Lawyer

1,000.00

Bank Draft

Jul 14

Transfer from trust re Piper Invoice #002

565.00

Trust Chq #001

Jul 22

Jackie Jones re Invoice #001

113.00

Chq

 

 

 

 

Aug 11

Transfer from trust re Piper Invoice #004

1,130.00

Trust Chq #002

 

 

 

 

Aug12

Transfer from trust re Silver Invoice #005

678.00

Trust Chq #003

Aug13

Ricky Ricardo re Invoice #003

339.00

Cash

 

 

 

 

Sep 7

Transfer from trust re Taylor Invoice #006 -  523.30
Transfer from trust re Piper Invoice #007 - 1,120.00

1,643.30

Trust Chq #007

 

6.   General Disbursements Journal – ss 18(6)

For every payment you make in your practice that is not a trust payment, record:

  • date you made the payment
  • method you used to make the payment, for example: cheque, certified cheque, bank draft, electronic trust transfer, etc
  • number of the document you used to make the payment, for example: cheque number, bank draft number
  • amount of the payment
  • person to whom you made the payment
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister and Solicitor
GENERAL DISBURSEMENTS JOURNAL

Date 2010

Method / number

Paid To:
(Person to whom money is paid)

Particulars

Amount

HST paid

Total paid

Jul 1

Chq #001

Larry Landlord

Rent

500.00

65.00

565.00

Jul 9

Chq #002

Acme Office Supplies

Stationery

200.00

26.00

226.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 1

Chq #003

Larry Landlord

Rent

    500.00

65.00

565.00

Aug 31

PAD #AB123456

Teraview

Client Disb:
Taylor, Terry

70.00

1.30

71.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep1

Chq #004

Larry Landlord

Rent

500.00

65.00

565.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct1

Chq #005

Larry Landlord

Rent

565.00

65.00

565.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 7.   Clients’ General Ledger

By-Law 9 does not require this record, but it is good business practice to do so, since it is useful for keeping track of all the expenses, invoices and payments for each client in one convenient record so you know how much each client owes you. As with the client trust ledger, the details of each separate client matter are usually posted to a separate card or account. We also recommend that you reconcile your general account(s) monthly.

Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor
CLIENTS’ GENERAL LEDGER


Account: JONES Jackie re Legal Advice

Date 2010

Particulars

Expenses
(on behalf of client)

Fees
(billed to  client)

HST
(billed to  client)

Payments on Account

Balance owed

Jul 2

Fees - Inv #001

 

100.00

13.00

 

113.00

Jul 22

Client re Inv #001

 

 

 

113.00

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
       













 

Account: PIPER, Peter re Corporate

Date 2010

Particulars

Expenses
(on behalf of client)

Fees
(billed to  client)

HST
(billed to  client)

Payments on Account

Balance owed

Jul 12

Fees - Inv #002

 

500.00

65.00

 

565.00

Jul 14

Trust transfer re Inv #002

 

 

 

565.00

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 






Account: PIPER, Peter re Matrimonial

Date 2010

Particulars

Expenses
(on behalf of client)

Fees
(billed to  client)

HST
(billed to  client)

Payments on Account

Balance owed

Aug 9

Fees - Inv #004

 

1,000.00

130.00

 

1,130.00

Aug 12

Trust transfer re Inv #004

 

 

 

1,130.00

0

Sep 7

Fees - Inv #007   1,000.00 130.00   1,300.00

Sep 7

Trust transfer re Inv #007

 

 

 

1,120.00

10.00


 

 

 

 

 

 

 






Account: RICARDO, Ricky re Contract

Date 2010

Particulars

Expenses
(on behalf of client)

Fees
(billed to  client)

HST
(billed to  client)

Payments on Account

Balance owed

Jul 30

Fees - Inv #003

 

300.00

39.00

 

339.00

Jul 13

Client re Inv #003

 

 

 

339.00

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 






Account: SILVER, Susan re Adoption

Date 2010

Particulars

Expenses
(on behalf of client)

Fees
(billed to  client)

HST
(billed to  client)

Payments on Account

Balance owed

Aug 10

Fees - Inv #005

 

600.00

78.00

 

678.00

Aug 12

Trust transfer re Inv #005

 

 

 

678.00

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 





Account: TAYLOR, Terry re Mortgage

Date 2010

Particulars

Expenses
(on behalf of client)

Fees
(billed to  client)

HST
(billed to  client)

Payments on Account

Balance owed

Aug 31

Registration

70.00

 

1.30

 

71.30

Sep 7

Fees - Inv #006 Inv #006

 

400.00

52.00

 

523.30

Sep 7 Trust transfer re Inv #006       523.30 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


8.   Fees Book – ss 18(7)

When you invoice your clients, you can either record the information in a Fees Book or keep a copy of each invoice in chronological (date) order in a billings file. Many law firms keep both records as well as a third copy in the client file. A ringed binder with tab dividers for each month works well for the billings file. If you keep a Fees Book, record the following information:

  • fees charged to the client
  • other billings charged to the client
  • date of billing
  • client who is billed
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor
FEES BOOK

Date 2010

Inv #

Client

Fees
Billed

Disbursements
Billed

HST Billed

Total Billed

Jul 2

001

Jackie Jones

100.00

 

13.00

113.00

Jul 12

002

Peter Piper

500.00

 

65.00

565.00

Jul 30

003

Ricky Ricardo

300.00

 

39.00

339.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 9

004

Peter Piper

1,000.00

 

130.00

1,130.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 10

005

Susan Silver

600.00

 

78.00

678.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 7

006

Terry Taylor

400.00

70.00

53.30

523.30

Sep 7

007

Peter Piper

1,000.00

 

130.00

1,130.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9.   Trust Bank Reconciliation, Client Trust Listing, and Trust Comparison – ss 18(8)

Each month, for your trust comparison, you must compare:

a)   your reconciled trust bank balance and

b)   your client trust listing total

These two amounts must be the same. This is one of the most important trust records and you must complete it by the 25th of each month for all trust funds you held at the previous month’s end. You should correct any trust shortages immediately and correct any bank or posting errors before the next month end.

For the trust reconciliation:

  • check off all of the returned (or imaged) cheques on the trust bank statement for the previous month, noting any discrepancies in the amounts
  • from your trust disbursement journal, identify any cheques you have issued that have not yet cleared the bank
  • list the outstanding cheques by cheque number, date of issue, payee, and amount and total the amount
  • from your deposit book, check off all deposits on the bank statement noting any discrepancies in the amounts
  • list any deposits for the previous month, by date and amount, that are not recorded on the bank statement; these are your outstanding deposits
  • list any bank errors and/or posting errors individually by date of occurrence and provide a brief explanation; a copy of any supporting documentation, such as a bank memo, should be attached to your reconciliation
  • from the balance on the trust bank statement, subtract the amount of the outstanding cheques, add any outstanding deposits and adjust for any bank and posting errors to calculate your reconciled trust bank balance

For the client trust listing:

  • from the clients’ trust ledger, identify any client for whom you held trust funds at the previous month end
  • list the client names in a logical order, with the unexpended trust balance for each client as at the previous month end
  • include the last activity date for each client’s trust balance on the client trust listing to help you to monitor inactive or dormant amounts
  • total the client trust listing

Compare your reconciled trust bank balance with the client trust listing total. If these two amounts are not the same, you must find and correct the discrepancy.

Leslie Lawyer
Barrister and Solicitor
  Trust Bank Reconciliation
as at August 31, 2010

                                               
Mixed Trust Account:
Balance Per Bank Statement                                                                    $40,933.00
    Less:      Outstanding Cheques                                                               39,476.70
                  (See list below)
    Plus:       Outstanding Deposits – Aug 31/10                                              250.00
                  (Deposited Sep 1/10)
    Plus bank error - Aug 12/10:
                   Chq #003 cleared as $687.00 s/b $678.00                                        9.00
                   (Corrected Sep 17/10 by bank credit memo)
Reconciled Mixed Trust Bank balance at Aug 31, 2010                         $1,715.30

Outstanding Cheques:
Cheque #       Date                  Payee                              Amount
004        Aug 31/10       Treasurer of Anytown             5,500.00
005        Aug 31/10         Metro Mortgage Co             33,742.83
006        Aug 31/10         Terry Taylor                              233.87

Total Outstanding Cheques                                    $39,476.70

 

Client Trust Listing
(from clients’ trust ledger balances)
as at August 31, 2010

File Name                           Last Activity Date                        Amount
Piper, Peter                               Aug 31/10                              $1,120.00
Silver, Susan                             Aug 11/10                                     72.00
Taylor, Terry                              Aug 31/10                                  523.30
Total:                                                                                        $1,715.30

Total trust liabilities to clients at August 31, 2010                                  $1,715.30

 

Trust Comparison
as at August 31, 2010

Total Reconciled Trust Bank Balance                                                      $1,715.30
(See Trust reconciliation above)

Total of unexpended balances per Clients’ Trust Ledger                     $1,715.30

(See Client Trust Listing above)

Regardless of who prepares the trust comparison, you should make it a habit to review it and all supporting documentation by the 25th of each month to make sure:

  • the comparison has been completed on time
  • all client trust funds are included: mixed, pass book, GICs, term deposits, e-reg©, estate, power of attorney, etc.
  • bank statement, passbook, estate account, GIC, term deposit etc. balances are correct
  • the arithmetic is correct
  • reconciling items, e.g. bank errors, posting errors, are cleared each month and are explained and supported by documentation
  • stale dated cheques, i.e. cheques that have been outstanding for more than 6 months, are reversed, the client liability reinstated in the clients’ trust ledger and the cheque reissued if appropriate (Note that clearing rules state that a cheque more than six months old may be cashed so check your financial institution’s policy to determine whether you should put a stop payment on a trust cheque before reissuing it.)
  • there are no overdrawn client trust ledger accounts
  • the amounts in trust for each client are correct
  • any client trust ledger accounts that have not had any activity in the previous 12 months are followed up

10.    a) Detailed Duplicate Trust Account Deposit Slip – ss 18(10)

By-Law 9 requires you to deposit any trust money you receive immediately into your trust account. You should record the following information on all your copies of trust deposit slips:

  • date you deposit the funds
  • your firm’s name if it is not preprinted
  • your bank account number if it is not preprinted
  • source of each receipt
  • related client
  • amount

You should also ensure that the teller stamps each deposit slip. If you use an automated teller machine, attach the ATM receipt to the corresponding deposit slip, or add the source and client reference to the ATM receipt and keep it with your deposit slips.

DEPOSIT SLIP
Current Account BANK OF ONTARIO
Date:

2 0 1 0 0 8 3 0

Transit
5 4 3 2 1

Account Number:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Teller Stamp CREDIT ACCOUNT OF:
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister and Solicitor Trust Account


Depositor's
LL

Initials

Teller's
ABC


Initials

Cheques and Credit Card Vouchers

Details

Cash

 Kim Kirby

 

 

x     $5

 

 

re loan to Taylor

40,000

 
x   $10

 

 

 

 

 

x   $20

 

 

 

 

 

x   $50

 

 

 

 

 

x $100

 

 

 

 

 

                    x

 

 

 

 

 

                    x

 

 

 

 

 

  coin

 

 

 

 

 

Cdn Cash Total

nil

 

Total ►

40,000

 

Credit Card Vouchers and Cheques Forwarded ►

    40,000

00

 

10.    b) Detailed Duplicate General Account Deposit Slip – ss 18(10)  

You should record the following information on all your copies of general deposit slips:

  • date you deposit the funds
  • your firm’s name if it is not preprinted
  • your bank account number if it is not preprinted
  • source of each receipt
  • related client, if applicable
  • amount

You should also ensure that the teller stamps each deposit slip. If you use an automated teller machine, attach the ATM receipt to the corresponding deposit slip, or add the source and client reference to the ATM receipt and keep it with your deposit slips.
 

DEPOSIT SLIP
Current Account BANK OF ONTARIO
Date:

2 0 1 0 0 9 0 7

Transit
5 4 3 2 1

Account Number:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Teller Stamp CREDIT ACCOUNT OF:
Leslie Lawyer
Barrister and Solicitor Trust Account


Depositor's
LL

Initials

Teller's
ABC


Initials

 

Cheques and Credit Card Vouchers

Details

Cash

 From Trust Account, chq #007

 

 

x     $5

 

 

re Piper $1,120.00

1,643

30

x   $10

 

 

re Taylor  $523.30

 

 

x   $20

 

 

 

 

 

x   $50

 

 

 

 

 

x $100

 

 

 

 

 

                    x

 

 

 

 

 

                    x

 

 

 

 

 

  coin

 

 

 

 

 

Cdn Cash Total

nil

 

Total ►

1,643

30

Credit Card Vouchers and Cheques Forwarded ►

   1,643

30


11.       Duplicate Cash Receipts Book – s 19

For each cash receipt you receive in your practice, in addition to recording it in either the trust or general receipts journal and either the client trust or general ledger, prepare a duplicate cash receipt with:

  • the date you received the cash
  • the name of the person who gave you the cash
  • the amount of cash received
  • the name of the client for whom you received the cash
  • the file number if any
  • your signature or that of your authorized designate
  • the signature of the person who gave you the cash

It is always advisable to sequentially number any accounting documents, so your cash receipts should be numbered.

Give one copy of the receipt to the person who gave you the cash, and keep one copy with your accounting records. You may also want to prepare the receipt in triplicate and keep the third copy in the client file.

By-Law 9 requires you to use reasonable efforts to obtain the signature of the person who gives you the cash. You should be wary of accepting cash from someone who does not want to sign a receipt.

Keep in mind that your staff may be reluctant to accept responsibility for receipt of cash payments. If you decide to make it a policy of your firm not to accept cash or cash over a certain amount, be sure to notify potential clients in writing before accepting their retainers.

Sample:

 

                                                 DUPLICATE CASH RECEIPT                                            #0001
Date_________________

Received from___________________________ the amount of $__________________

On behalf of__________________________________________ for file #___________

________________________________        ___________________________________
Signature of payor [person paying cash]         Authorized signature on behalf of [name of law firm]

  

12a) Client Identification and Verification (individual client) - s 23 By-Law 7.1

Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor
VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY
(For use where the client or the third party is an individual)

Name:                           Kim Kelsey Kirby                                                               
Address:                       456 Avenue Rd Anytown ON Z9Y 4V3 ______________
Phone No:                     (789) 456-0123__________________________________
Business Address:        N/A (retired_____________________________________
Business Phone No:     N/A (retired) ____________________________________
Occupation(s)               Retired real estate agent___________________________

□  Driver's Licence
□  Birth Certificate
□  Passport
□  Other (specify type) ______________________________________

Meeting Date Identity Verified:                   Aug 30, 2010__________________
Identity Verified By (Name of Person):       Sandy Secretary________________
Date File Reviewed by Lawyer:                  Aug 30, 2010__________________
Name of Lawyer:                                         Leslie Lawyer__________________ 

 

12b) Client Identification and Verification (organization) - s 23 By-Law 7.1

Leslie Lawyer
Barrister & Solicitor

 
VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY
(For use where the client or the third party is an organization)
Name:                         Peter Piper Pickles ________________________
Business Address:      456 Avenue Rd Anytown ON Z9Y 4V3 ________
Business Phone No:   (321) 654-0987___________________________
Incorporation or Business Identification No.: 12131415 Ontario Inc____
Place of Issue of No:                      Ontario_______________________
Type of business or Activity:           Produce wholesaler and retailer___ 

Person Authorized to Instruct

Name:                     Peter Piper_______________________________

Position:                   President____________________________­____

Phone No.:              (321) 654-0987 ext 1__________________­_____

Original Document Reviewed – Copy Attached

x  Driver’s Licence
□  Birth Certificate
□  Passport
□  Other (specify type) ______________________________________

 

Names and Occupation(s) of Directors

Peter Piper, farmer_________________________________________

Jackie Jones, electrician_____________________________________ 

Ricky Ricardo, musician_____________________________________

________________________________________________________

 

Names, Addresses and Occupation(s) of Owners or Shareholders owning a 25%
interest or more of the organization or shares in the organization

Peter Piper, 456 County Rd Anytown ON Z9Y 4V3, farmer, 51%____________ 

Peter Piper Jr, 456 County Rd Anytown ON Z9Y 4V3, farmer, 49%__________ 

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

 

Original Document Reviewed – Copy Attached

□Certificate of Corporate Status
□Annual Filings of the Organization (specify type) _______________________
x Partnership Agreement
□Trust Agreement
□Articles of Association
x Other (specify type) __Business Names Registration____________________

Meeting Date Identity Verified:                            Aug 30, 2010

Identity Verified By (Name of Person):                Sandy Secretary

Date File Reviewed by Lawyer:                           Aug 30, 2010

Name of Lawyer:                                                 Leslie Lawyer

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13.  Valuable Property Record

This record is required by section 18(9) of By-Law 9 to record trust assets other than money. The record should show, as a minimum, the following details:

  • the name of the beneficial owner or owners;
  • a description of the property;
  • the date the property came into the Licensee’s possession or trust control;
  • the name of the person who had control of the property immediately before the Licensee took possession;
  • the value of the property;
  • the date that the trust was terminated by delivery or transfer of the property to, or on the  direction of, the beneficial owner or owners;
  • the person to whom possession of property given.

Properties to be included:

  • Mortgages, transfers or other instruments registered in the Licensee’s name in trust.

This includes mortgages, or other investment securities, held in trust by a Corporation or other business entity controlled by a Licensee, Licensees of a firm and/or the spouse(s) of the Licensee(s).

  • Stocks, bonds or other securities in bearer form.
  • Jewellery, paintings, furs, collector’s items or any variety of saleable valuables.
  • Any property that a Licensee can convert, on his/her own authority to cash.

Properties not to be included:

  • Term deposits, deposit receipts, savings accounts or similar deposit accounts maintained for individual clients at chartered banks or registered trust companies. These are trust monies and must be recorded in the financial accounting records.
  • Wills, securities registered in the name of the client, corporate records, corporate seals, etc. These properties have value to the clients and Licensees must exercise care in keeping the properties, but they are not properties that can be sold or negotiated by Licensees. Licensees may maintain lists of these properties but this list must be separate from the record required by subsection 18(9) of By-Law 9.

Valuable Property Record

Section 18(9) By-Law 9 made pursuant to the Law Society Act, 1990 as amended:

A record showing all property, other than money, held in trust for clients, and describing each property and identifying the date on which the licensee took possession of each property, the person who had possession of each property immediately before the licensee took possession of the property, the value of each property, the client for whom each property is held in trust, the date on which possession of each property is given away and the person to whom possession of each property is given.

 

Client

Description of Property

Date Received

Received From

Value of Property

Given To

Date Given Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Appendices

 By-Law 9
          Form 9A - Sample Completed Form 9A
          Form 9B - Sample Completed Form 9B
          Form 9C - Sample Completed Form 9C
          Form 9D - Sample Completed Form 9D
          Form 9E - Sample Completed Form 9E 

Report on Opening or Closing a Trust Account

Sample Letter of Direction to the Law Foundation of Ontario  

Payment of Registration Fees and Land Transfer Tax

Internal Control Self-Assessment Guide

Use of Credit Cards in the Legal Practice

Private Mortgages - Record Keeping

Estates - Final Record Keeping

 

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