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In what circumstances am I required to identify my client?

You must identify your client whenever you are retained to provide legal services, except:

  • when you provide legal services to your employer, for example as in-house counsel;
  • when you are acting as an agent for another lawyer who has already identified the client;
  • when you are acting for a client who has been referred to you by another lawyer who has already identified the client; or
  • when you are providing legal services as part of a duty counsel program sponsored by a non-profit organization, except where the legal services involve a financial transaction.

This requirement is in keeping with your obligation to know your client, understand their financial dealings in relation to the retainer, and manage any risks arising from the professional business relationship with the client.

When acting as an agent or acting on a referral, it would be prudent to obtain the identity information from the other lawyer.