Non-Engagement Letter Checklist

Date of Consultation

  • set out the date of consultation

Reason for Declining or Non-Engagement   

  • explain why you cannot or will not represent the individual
  • professional conduct issues: e.g., conflict of interest (do not to disclose confidential information regarding other client)
  • fees issues: e.g., individual’s failure to pay money retainer  

Confirm Not Retained   

  • clearly state that you are not acting for the individual

Statute of Limitations   

  • advise the individual of the consequences of missing a limitation period
  • if a limitation period is about to expire, refer the individual to the applicable statute and indicate the need for the individual to take urgent action

Recommend Legal Representation   

  • recommend that the individual seek other representation

No Legal Opinion   

  • take care not to express an opinion on the merits of any claim or matter unless you have conducted careful research to support the position

Return Property to Individual   

  • if you received property or documents from the individual during a consultation, return to the individual and confirm their return in the letter

Conflict of Interest Issues   

  • in instances where representation is declined because of a conflict of interest, if applicable, confirm that
    • you have recommend that the individual to seek independent legal representation, and
    • if you received any confidential information regarding the individual’s interests in the matter
     

Retain Copy, Input Conflicts Checking System   

  • keep copy of letter in client file or file containing non-engagement confirmations
  • ensure information entered into conflicts checking system