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Changing Responsible Lawyers
If the Responsible Lawyer (RL) at your law firm has changed, your law firm may be required to file a final Law Firm Self-Report within 14 days of the RL’s departure date. Please contact Trust Safety to determine whether this requirement applies to you.
Per Rule 119.62 (1), an RL who is unable or unwilling to fulfil the duties of an RL for a law firm that remains in practice, must, a minimum of 14 days before the date they intend to cease to be an RL:
- advise the Society, in writing, of:
- their intention to cease to be the RL, and
- the effective date on which the lawyer will cease to be the RL;
- if requested, prepare and file an interim reporting filing, using the form and prescribed filing method approved by the Executive Director;
- comply with any outstanding audit requirements; and
- ensure a replacement RL is appointed by confirming:
- the necessary application has been filed with and approved by the Executive Director, and
- the necessary steps have been taken to enable the transfer of the RL designation to another qualified member of the law firm.
Closing a Firm or Trust Accounts
Per Rule 119.63(1), a law firm that terminates its practice must file with the Executive Director written notice of:
- termination of the law firm practice before or immediately after the date on which the firm’s prescribed financial records are closed;
- the effective date of the law firm’s termination of practice, which becomes the law firm’s new Designated Filing Date. Trust Safety will notify you of which documents and filings will be required.
For issues regarding undisbursable trust funds, as well as questions about accounting procedures or practices, review our Disbursing the Undisbursable resource.
Please note that the preferred method of submission is that forms be completed electronically, printed, signed, scanned and emailed.
To close a trust account, the law firm must be sure that all trust funds are distributed to the parties entitled to them or make written arrangements for the transfer of funds to the trust account of another law firm and the assumption by that law firm of the trust obligations applicable to those funds or pay the money to the Law Society. A final Law Firm Self Report and Trust Accounting Upload (or Accountant’s Report in lieu of the Trust Accounting Upload) are required to be filed upon the closing of the trust account and prescribed financial records.
When a practice is concluded, the Executive Director of the Law Society must be provided with written notice of the fact, before or immediately after the date on which the firm’s prescribed financial records are closed.
When a lawyer moves to another law firm, any trust balances for client files that are to be transferred to the new law firm should be transferred by issuing a trust cheque. As well, the member should be removed as a signing authority from the previous law firm’s trust accounts.