Guide to Retention and Destruction of Closed Client Files, For Lawyers - Appendix 4

Sample Provisions 

Sample Retainer Agreement Provision

These paragraphs may be included in the retainer agreement.

When your matter has been completed, you will be entitled to receive copies of any documents relating to the legal services performed by us for you not previously provided to you, excluding our internal accounting records and other documents belonging to us. We have the right to retain copies of any documents or papers provided to you.

In addition when the matter has been completed, we will close your file and notify you. At that time if you wish to have any documents from your file, please advise us. Otherwise we will deal with your file in accordance with our file retention policy.

In this regard, some documents will be removed from the file and destroyed, while others will be stored in an off-site location for a period of time and then destroyed. If you require copies of documents once the file has been moved to the off-site location, an administrative fee may be charged to retrieve the file from storage. 

Sample Letter to the Client - Closing the File

The contents of this letter may be incorporated into a final report to the client.

We have recently completed the matter for which we were retained and we are now in the process of closing the file in accordance with our file retention policy.

We enclose the following documents: [Documents belonging to the client and which have not been previously sent to the client e.g. original documents]. 

In accordance with our file retention policy attached and previously provided in the retainer letter and as part of the closing procedure, some documents will be removed from the file and destroyed when the file is closed, while others will be stored in an off- site location for a period of time and then destroyed. If you require copies of documents once the file has been moved to the off-site location, an administrative fee may be charged to retrieve the file from storage.