Trust cheques are an integral part of the financial and accounting aspect of practice management. Rule 5.05(5) sets out some of the requirements for trust cheques. They must be marked as a trust cheque and must not be payable to “cash” or “bearer”. They should always be made payable to a named payee and must not be released unless there are sufficient funds in the account to the credit of the client to cover the cheque. They must also be signed by a member but must not be signed before the date, payee and amount is written on the cheque.
If a lawyer practises alone, he or she should make arrangements for another lawyer to be authorized to sign trust cheques in his or her absence (rule 5.05(5.1)).
Signature stamps and electronic signatures violate these rules and are prohibited.
Withdrawals and Transfers from Trust Accounts: rule 5.05 (Law Society Rules)
Maintenance of Records: rule 5.02 (Law Society Rules)
(Posted: June 12, 2020)