Practice Resources

Capacity, undue influence and mistreatment (abuse and neglect)

A Guide for Assisting Persons in Vulnerable Situations (STEP Canada, 2023), generously shared with permission as part of STEP Canada’s commitment to fostering knowledge exchange on this critical topic
Acting for a client with dementia (Benchers' Bulletin, Spring 2015)
Report on Common-Law Tests of Capacity (BCLI, 2013)
Undue Influence Recognition and Prevention: A Reference Aid (BCLI, 2022)
Undue Influence Recognition and Prevention: A Guide for Legal Practitioners (BCLI, 2022)


Lack of civility can lead to discipline (June 2011 Discipline Advisory)
Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 27, [2018] 1 S.C.R. 772

Client files

Closed Files: Retention and Disposition
Closing a file: What documents to keep and for how long (Winter 2017 Benchers' Bulletin)
Ownership of Documents in a Client’s File
Reporting Letter to Client – Closing a File
Non-Engagement Letters (revised 2020)
Client file opening and closing checklist Word | pdf

Client ID and verification

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Closing a law practice

Winding Up a Practice: A Checklist
Withdrawal from the Practice of Law: sample newspaper notice and letter to clients


Guidance for Lawyers on Using Inclusive Language 

Confidentiality / Conflict of interest

Crossing the Border with Electronic Devices: What Canadian Legal Professionals Should Know (December 14, 2018, Federation of Law Societies of Canada)
Lawyers sharing space
Law Office Search Warrants
Supreme Court of Canada releases decisions concerning CRA notices of requirements (Summer 2016 Benchers' Bulletin)
Model conflicts of interest checklist

Financial / Accounting / Tax

Did you know that banks can place holds on trust cheques, certified cheques and bank drafts? (May 2024)
Highlights of Changes to Trust Account and Cash Rules (July 2019)
Are you or any of your employees US citizens? (Fall 2015 Benchers' Bulletin, p. 13)
Garnishment of Lawyers' Trust Accounts
Ministry of Finance announces additional property transfer tax effective August 2, 2016
CRA notices of requirement (Fall 2016 Benchers' Bulletin)
Supreme Court of Canada releases decisions concerning CRA notices of requirements (Summer 2016 Benchers' Bulletin)
Lost and Stolen Cheques, Bank Drafts and Trust Cheques: some modest but partial solutionsThe Advocate
Cheques, Bank Drafts and Trust Cheques: New Problems with an Old System, The Advocate

See also: Trust Accounting and Trust Assurance Program

Independent legal advice

Independent legal advice checklist (February 2022)  Wordpdf
Independent legal advice checklist, annotated with LIF's risk management tips (March 2014)

Law corporations

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Lawyer leaving law firm

Precedent letters when lawyer leaves a firm
Ethical considerations when a lawyer leaves a firm* (Practice, Summer 2017 Benchers' Bulletin)
*This article is an update to "Ethical considerations when a lawyer moves on" (Practice Watch, Summer 2014 Benchers’ Bulletin)
The departing lawyer in the age of Covid-19 - Ethical, legal and practical guidance (Practice, Summer 2020 Bencher's Bulletin)


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Model policies

Model policies are for you to consider and use when you draft your own policies. They are NOT meant to be standard policies. Their suitability will depend upon a number of factors, such as the current state of the law and practice in each area of law, your writing style and your needs. Some may need to be modified to correspond to current law and practice.

Social Media and Social Networking Policies and Procedures
Guidelines – Recruiting, Interviewing and Hiring Practices
Internet and E-Mail Use
Privacy Policy 
Privacy Policy for Employees of a Law Firm
Respectful Workplace WordPDF
Workplace Accommodation
Workplace Equality

Materials developed for the Justicia project: 

Organizing your law office

Opening Your Law Office (July 2018)
Loss prevention planning checklist
Twelve-month law practice cash flow budget worksheet
Sample associate agreement
Lawyers sharing space
Model Client Survey:  Wordpdf

Paralegals, designated paralegals

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Practice Checklists Manual

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Protocol between the Provincial Court and the Law Society (June 2022)
Protocol between the Law Society and the Office of the Registrar respecting the protection of solicitor-client privilege in connection with investigations under the Security Services Act (2008)

Western Law Societies Conveyancing Protocol (British Columbia) Version 3.0
Full text of the Protocol – Version 3
Solicitor's Opinion – Version 9
List of Protocol Lenders


Resources by area of practice

  • Corporate/commercial
  • Family law
  • Litigation
  • Real estate and Juricert
  • Wills and undue influence

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Retainer agreements, limited scope retainers, joint retainer letters

For background information on limited scope retainers, see Limited scope retainer FAQs in the Fall 2017 Benchers' Bulletin and the free, one-hour CLE seminar CLE-TV: Limited Scope Retainers on YouTube.

  • Here is a sample general-retainer agreement, including information how it can be tailored to apply to a limited scope retainer (sometimes referred to as “unbundling”): Word | PDF [updated December 2016]
  • Here is a sample joint retainer letter (Appendix 6 of the former Professional Conduct Handbook).

These sample documents will be revised, if and when required, in response to amendments to the BC Code.

These resources are intended to help lawyers carry out their duties and manage their practices. The sample documents are intended as a starting point; they can be amended to suit the styles, needs and circumstances of the lawyers involved. Lawyers must exercise professional judgment respecting the correctness and applicability of the material. The Law Society expressly disclaims responsibility for any errors or omissions.

Safety and security

What to do Before and After a Disaster Strikes 

Lost or stolen briefcase? Cyber attack? What to do if your practice records have been compromised (2021)
Suspicious packages (Government of Canada)

CBA Manitoba Personal Safety Handbook

CBA Alberta Personal Safety Handbook

Solicitors' Liens

Solicitors’ Liens and Charging Orders – Your Fees and Your Clients 

Succession Planning & Practice Coverage

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Using video-conferencing technology: guidance and professional obligations 
Cryptolocker Ransomware alert
Cloud computing due diligence guidelines (2012)
Cloud computing checklist v. 4.0 (updated January 2023)
Internet / e-mail use policy
ABA Legal Technology Resource Center website
Guidance on professional responsibility and generative AI (2023)