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Client Trust Listings

Trust accounting is very detailed and involves many requirements. Rule 5.02 sets out the requirement for specific books and records of a law office, which includes client trust ledgers, copies of billings, trust property records and bank statements.

Lawyers are required under rule 5.02(1)(h) to keep a record called a monthly trust comparison “showing a comparison made monthly of the total of balances held in all trust accounts and the total of all unexpended balances of funds held in trust for clients as they appear from the books and records together with the reasons for any differences between the totals.” The following documents must be retained to support the monthly trust comparison:

  • a detailed listing made monthly showing the amount of trust money held for each client and identifying each client for whom trust money is held, and
  • a detailed reconciliation made monthly of each trust account.

This means that the detailed client trust listing must be printed monthly and compared to the reconciled bank balance as part of the documentation maintained for the monthly trust reconciliation process. Before a reconciliation is signed by the member, the member should reconcile

  • items on the bank reconciliation,
  • outstanding deposits, and
  • outstanding and stale-dated cheques.

The trust listing itself should be reviewed for inactive accounts, unusual amounts and outstanding unregistered releases.


Maintenance of Records: rule 5.02 (Law Society Rules)

Related Topics:

Reporting Overdrafts: rule 5.06 (Law Society Rules)

Managing Money

Law Office Organization and Administration

Duty to Report: section 7.1-3 (Code of Professional Conduct)

(Posted: June 12, 2020)