The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 3, June 2010

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Safety of Trust Property Project Supports Lawyers in Fulfilling their Duty

We know lawyers are committed to fulfilling their duty to their clients, and we want to support them.

We have learned that for some lawyers, accounting is a challenge. The safety of trust property project builds in support by encouraging the use of accounting software

We have learned that there are risks in practices which require stringent control procedures to defend. That's why we have a no-cash rule, and new Client Identification and Verification rules. As well, we have just introduced a rule allowing the use of trust accounts only when legal services are being provided. We will consider further mandatory procedures when new serious risks are identified.

We have learned that risks also vary from practice to practice. The Safety of Trust Property project will support lawyers in identifying internal risks in their practices through the LESA course, an accounting guide and an annual questionnaire. We will also be developing model procedures to support lawyers to protect against identified risks.

Through our new automated audit program and electronic firm filing we will be able to identify concerns promptly. We will be able to help lawyers fix their procedures. These will enable the Law Society to protect the public if a stronger regulatory response is necessary.

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