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Chapter 7.1 out of 14 chapters in the annotated Professional Conduct Handbook

 

CHAPTER 7.1
PRESERVATION OF CLIENT VALUABLES


Definitions

1. In this chapter,

"client" includes any person on whose behalf a lawyer holds valuables; and

"valuables" means:

(a) cash,1

(b) negotiable securities such as shares and bonds, and

(c) property of value such as jewellery and precious metals.

[added 09/96]

Application of chapter

2. This chapter deals only with a lawyer's obligation to preserve and account for valuables entrusted to the lawyer by a client. It does not affect a lawyer's duty to preserve other client property and funds.

[added 09/96]

Duty of safekeeping

3. A lawyer owes a duty to preserve and keep safe any valuables that a client entrusts to the lawyer, including a duty to take the same care of entrusted valuables as a professional fiduciary would take when dealing with similar valuables.

[added 09/96]

Notice to client

4. A lawyer who receives valuables of or relating to a client must notify the client promptly, unless the lawyer is satisfied that the client is aware that the valuables have come into the lawyer's custody.

[added 09/96]

Adequate measures

5. A lawyer must take the following steps as a minimum to preserve adequately and keep safe a client's valuables:

(a) clearly label and identify the client's valuables;

(b) place the valuables in a secure place apart from the lawyer's own property;

(c) maintain with the lawyer's accounting records a complete listing of clients' valuables in the lawyer's custody.

[added 09/96]

Return of valuables

6. Subject to any right of lien or any agreement to the contrary, a lawyer must return valuables to the client promptly on request or at the conclusion of the lawyer's retainer.2

[added 09/96]


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FOOTNOTES:

1. This chapter applies when a lawyer receives cash for safekeeping, as distinct from holding funds in trust. A lawyer's duties regarding clients' funds held in trust are set out in Part 3, Division 7 of the Law Society Rules.

[updated 12/99]

2. In case of a dispute as to the person entitled to receive the valuables, the lawyer may have recourse to the courts to resolve the dispute.

 

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Chapter 7.1 out of 14 chapters in the annotated Professional Conduct Handbook