Reminder: Transfers Between Trust Ledgers

September 29, 2023

Non-compliance with the rules related to transfers between trust ledgers has emerged as a common observation during trust safety audits. A reminder that understanding trust fund transfers is a key practice that demonstrates your law firm’s commitment to trust obligations and safeguarding client funds.

Client Trust Fund Transfers:

  • Always obtain clear client direction for trust fund transfers.
  • Support transfers with a signed and dated transfer document.
    • Include the amount, approval date, transfer date, source file and destination file.
    • Maintain the transfer document with the client file.

Use the Matter-to-Matter Trust Transfers template on our website to track this information, or build an internal document that works for you, ensuring it captures all required information.

Review Process:

  • Review transfer documents diligently to make sure they meet client instructions.
  • Verify the accuracy of recorded details, including source and destination files, amounts, and dates.
  • Ensure consistency between the client trust ledger and the transfer document.

Monthly review of the transfer journal as part of the bank reconciliation process is essential. This practice safeguards the validity and accuracy of all matter-to-matter transfers.

Adhering to Rule 119.33 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta is crucial for compliance for responsible lawyers.

If you have any questions regarding trust fund transfers, contact the Law Society’s Trust Safety team by email or phone at 403.228.5632.