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Receiving Funds Electronically

When a lawyer receives funds in trust for a client, the lawyer shall pay it into a trust account no later than the first banking day following receipt of the funds – see rule 5.04(1). That same rule requires that this trust account be kept in the name of the member at a financial institution and bear interest that is submitted to the Law Foundation. The exception to this requirement is where the client directs that the funds be held in a specific trust account so that interest is payable to the client (rules 5.04(1) and (6)(b)).

With respect to receiving funds electronically, rule 5.04(2) states that a transfer is deemed to be deposited in a trust account when the member receives written confirmation from the financial institution providing details of the electronic funds transfer. To this end, note that

  • online confirmation is acceptable provided a copy of the confirmation with the amount highlighted is printed and placed in the client’s file, and
  • verbal confirmation from the bank is not acceptable.

A lawyer is required to seek confirmation of the transfer no later than the close of the banking day following the day on which the member was notified of the transfer into the lawyer’s trust account. The lawyer must ensure that written confirmation has been received and placed in the client’s file before the funds are withdrawn.


Deposits in Trust Accounts: rule 5.04 (Law Society Rules)

Related Topics:

Maintenance of Records: rule 5.02 (Law Society Rules)

Handling Cash

Credit Card Transactions

Trust Cheques

Managing Money

Law Office Organization and Administration

(Posted: June 12, 2020)