Trust Safety Rule Changes in Response to Feedback
In response to feedback received last year, the Benchers approved two amendments to the Trust Safety Rules. They are as follows:
Rule 119.3 (4) is amended to enable more than one lawyer to act as responsible lawyer for a law firm in certain circumstances as approved by the Executive Director.
Rule 119.43(1) is amended to enable a law firm to obtain a confirmation with a name or the client or the file number (as opposed to both) when receiving money into a law firm trust account electronically.
Accountability as Responsible Lawyer
119.3 (1) The responsible lawyer is accountable for
(a) the controls in relation to and the operation of all law firm trust accounts and general accounts,
(b) the accuracy of all reporting requirements of the law firm,
(c) the accuracy of all filing requirements of the law firm, and
(d) any of subrule (1)(a), (b), or (c) that have been delegated to another person.
(2) A lawyer shall not serve as responsible lawyer with more than one law firm unless authorized to do so by the Executive Director.
(3) A lawyer may apply to the Executive Director to be designated as an alternate responsible lawyer.
(4) There must be only one person acting as responsible lawyer for a law firm at any one time unless specifically exempted from this requirement by the Executive Director.
Electronic Banking Deposits
119.43 (1) A law firm may receive money into a law firm trust account electronically subject to the following conditions:
(a) the law firm shall obtain a confirmation from the financial institution and/or remitter of the funds within 2 banking days of the deposit;
(b) where practicable, the law firm shall request that the confirmation include the name of the client and/or file number;
(c) the law firm must retain any confirmation received with the law firm banking records.
The updated Rules are available on the Law Society’s website at www.lawsociety.ab.ca.