The Advisory: Volume 9, Issue 3, December 2011

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Positive Feedback on Trust Safety Program Received

By Steve Raby, QC, President-Elect and Chair, Trust Safety Committee, Law Society of Alberta

Feedback received to date on the Trust Safety program has been positive and has been used to make changes to the application process and to the forms.

To date, the Law Society has received over 1,900 Applications to Operate/Register a Law Firm from law firms in Alberta, which also includes the exemptions from operating a trust account. As most law firms have a December year-end, the Law Society is still expecting to receive an additional 350 forms by the end of the year. It is expected that by the first quarter of 2012, a total of approximately 2,300 applications will be processed and approved.

This new program requires that all law firms, new and existing, must complete an application form to designate a responsible lawyer in the firm as well as apply for a trust account. Each designated responsible lawyer is required to take an online course.

The Law Society has only one appeal which will be heard in the near future. This is an appeal of a decision denying an application for Responsible Lawyer designation.

New trust accounting rules, approved by the Benchers, build on best practices that most law firms in Alberta already have in place.

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