Guide to Closing Your Practice for Paralegals - Appendix 17

Letter From Replacement Paralegal or Lawyer to Client

Dear [client]:

Re:      [client file, file number]

Due to [provide reason], [affected paralegal]  is no longer able to continue providing legal services. I will be assisting in the [closure, transfer] of [affected paralegal]'spractice. You must either retain another paralegal or lawyer to take over completion of your matter and accept transfer of your active file or represent yourself. Taking Into consideration [insert appropriate language regarding limitation periods, upcoming appearance or other deadlines], I urge you to retain another legal representative as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are preserved.

You may select any paralegal or lawyer you wish to continue in your matter. [Insert sentence regarding your availability to take on the client's matter, if applicable.] If you require assistance to locate a suitable legal representative, [offer to provide list of local paralegals/lawyers or referral to legal representative who provides legal services in the relevant area of law, if appropriate] please feel free to contact the Law Society of Upper Canada's Lawyer Referral Service at 416-947-3330 or toll-free at 1-800-268-8326.

I will need your written authority to transfer your file to a new paralegal or lawyer, or you may attend our office to pick up a copy of your file for yourself or to deliver to your new legal representative. Please let me know the name of your new legal representative or make arrangements for delivery or retrieval of a copy of your file by [date]. Complete the attached Direction to Transfer Client File, Funds or Other Property or the attached Request for Client File, Funds or Other Property.

[insert additional Clause re: Client Funds, Documents or Property in Trust, if applicable]

Once your file has been transferred and any file contents that belong to you have been returned to you, I [or insert name of paralegal/lawyer who will store closed files] will continue to store [affected paralegal]'s copy of your closed file for [insert retention period]. After that time, I [or insert name of other paralegal/lawyer] will destroy that copy of the closed file. If you or your new legal representative later require a copy of the closed file during this retention period, I [or insert name of paralegal/lawyer who will store closed files] will provide an additional copy [at a cost of $  /page] [and a file retrieval change of $            , if applicable] to you.

You will receive a final accounting from the office of [affected paralegal] shortly. This will include any outstanding balances that you owe to [affected paralegal], and an accounting of any funds in your client trust account.

On behalf of [affected paralegal], I would like to thank you for giving [him/her] the opportunity to provide you with legal services.  If you have any additional concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me at [address] or [phone].

Sincerely,

[assisting paralegal/lawyer, legal services/law firm]