Billing and getting payment for services rendered are important parts of the management of a legal practice. Rule 5.05(1) provides that a lawyer must withdraw money from a trust account as soon as reasonably possible after the lawyer becomes entitled to the money.
Rule 5.05(2) stipulates that a member cannot withdraw money from a trust account unless certain circumstances apply. One of those circumstances is when a billing or other written notification has been delivered to the client. In this case, the phrase “delivered to the client” has been interpreted as being forwarded by mail, hand or electronic means. A copy of the statement of account should, of course, be added to the client file and recorded in accordance with rule 5.02.
Withdrawals and Transfers from Trust Accounts: rule 5.05 (Law Society Rules)
Maintenance of Records: rule 5.02 (Law Society Rules)
Duty to Report: section 7.1-3 (Code of Professional Conduct)
Payment and Appropriation of Funds: section 3.6-10 (Code of Professional Conduct)
Statement of Account: section 3.6-3 (Code of Professional Conduct)
(Posted: June 12, 2020)