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Want to Open a Trust Account?

If so, read this first, as the Trust Safety Program took effect April 1, 2019.

Want to Open a Trust Account?

Be prepared – Know the Law Society’s Requirements

The Law Society has implemented a Trust Safety Program that represents a significant change to the regulatory requirements for trust accounts. 

Effective April 1, 2019,  all new firms who wish to operate a trust account must complete two steps before opening a trust account.  First, the firm must apply to the Law Society for a practising lawyer to be approved as the firm’s trust account supervisor.  Secondly, the approved trust account supervisor must successfully complete the Society’s online Trust Accounting Fundamentals education program and examination.

Firms that had existing trust accounts on March 31, 2019 should have applied by April 1, 2019 for a practising lawyer to be the firm’s trust account supervisor and once approved, that individual is required to successfully complete the education and examination by October 1, 2019.  Failure to complete the Trust Accounting Fundamentals education program and pass the examination by October 1, 2019 will result in the closure of the firm’s trust account.

The firm’s trust account supervisor will be responsible and accountable for the operation of the firm’s trust account(s) and for the firm’s record keeping requirements.  Also, if the Law Society has any questions or concerns regarding the firm’s accounting or record keeping, they will be directed to the trust account supervisor.

For an overview of the Trust Safety Program, including the approval process, you can access a webinar through cpdonline.  Note that this is not the same as the Trust Accounting Fundamentals course and exam mentioned above.  There is no charge for the webinar and you can earn credit toward your annual CPD requirements. 

The Trust Accounting Fundamentals education program is also a great resource for all practising lawyers and support staff to better understand requirements for operating a trust account.  If you’re a lawyer thinking about opening a new firm, you can use this program to learn more about the requirements and make an informed decision as to whether being a trust account supervisor is right for you.

For additional information you may also review:

Trust Safety Program Guideline

Trust Safety Program - FAQs

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