Closing a law practice

Winding Up a Practice: A Checklist [updated November 2016]
Withdrawal from the Practice of Law: sample newspaper notice and letter to clients

Financial / accounting / tax

Are you or any of your employees US citizens? (Fall 2015 Benchers' Bulletin, p. 13)
Lost and Stolen Cheques, Bank Drafts and Trust Cheques: some modest but partial solutions, The Advocate
Garnishment of Lawyers' Trust Accounts
Twelve-month law practice cash flow budget worksheet
Ministry of Finance announces additional property transfer tax effective August 2, 2016 [updated August 2016]
CRA notices of requirement (Fall 2016 Benchers' Bulletin)
Supreme Court of Canada releases decisions concerning CRA notices of requirements (Summer 2016 Benchers' Bulletin)

see also: Trust Accounting and Trust Assurance Program

Lawyer leaving law firm

Precedent letters when lawyer leaves a firm
Ethical considerations when a lawyer moves on* (Practice Watch, Summer 2014 Benchers' Bulletin)

*Note: The Benchers made amendments to the BC Code effective November 4, 2016 that affect this article. Paragraph 20 should now read:

20. Conflicts from transfer between law firms. The departing lawyer should review BC Code rules 3.3-7 and 3.4-17 to 3.4-23, the rules that apply to conflicts that may result when a departing lawyer transfers from one law firm to a new law firm.


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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 Language Guideline
Respectful Workplace  (Word | PDF)
Workplace Accommodation
Workplace Equality    

Materials developed for the Justicia project: 
Flexible Work Arrangements  (Word | PDF)  
Parental leave model policy for associates  (Word | PDF)  
Parental leave model policy for partners  (Word | PDF)  
Parental leave frequently asked questions 
Demographic data collection  

Office organization

Valuable property record 
Resource Guide for Lawyers with Disabilities and Employers
Business plan outline 
Getting started: Opening your law office (2004) 
Loss prevention planning checklist
Sample associate agreement
Lawyers sharing space



Paralegals, designated paralegals

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Retainer agreements, limited scope retainers, joint retainer letters

For background information on limited scope retainers, see 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 (formerly Appendix 6 of the 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.

Succession planning & practice coverage

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Safety and security

What to do if your laptop or briefcase is stolen [new – December 2016]
Suspicious packages (Government of Canada)
Personal Safety Handbook (2010, CBA, Alberta Branch)


Cryptolocker Ransomware alert 
Using Microsoft Outlook to manage limitation (and other important) dates
Cloud computing due diligence guidelines 
Cloud computing checklist* (Note: Refer also to Law Society Rules 10-3 [Records] and 10-4 [Security of records], which came into effect after the Cloud computing checklist was developed.)
Mastering your Mailbox: E-mail and Information Management 
25 Benefits of Case Management in 40 Minutes
Building an automated practice: it's not so tough
Internet / e-mail use policy
Practice Management Face-Off: Time Matters vs. Amicus Attorney
Running a Home Business on the Office Server (and other good reasons to have a Technical Use Policy)
Threats from Within
Trust Accounting and Case Management Technology
ABA Legal Technology Resource Center website