Guide to Closing Your Practice for Lawyers - Appendix 17

Letter From Replacement Lawyer to Client

 

Dear [client]:

Re:      [client file, file number]

Due to [provide reason], [affected lawyer]  is no longer able to continue practice. I will be assisting in the [closure, transfer] of [affected lawyer]'s law practice. You must either retain another lawyer to take over completion of your matter and accept transfer of your active file or represent yourself. Taking into consideration [insert appropriate language regarding limitation periods, upcoming appearance or other deadlines], I urge you to retain another lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are preserved.

You may select any lawyer you wish to continue in your matter. [Insert sentence regarding your availability to take on the client's matter, if applicable.] If you require assistance to locate a suitable lawyer, [offer to provide list of local lawyers or referral to lawyer who practices relevant area of law, if appropriate] please feel free to contact the Law Society of Upper Canada's Lawyer Referral Service at 416-947-3330 or toll-free at 1-800-268-8326.

I will need your written authority to transfer your file to a new lawyer or you may attend our office to pick up a copy of your file for yourself or to deliver to that lawyer. Please let me know the name of your new lawyer or make arrangements for delivery or retrieval of a copy of your file by [date]. Complete the attached Direction to Transfer Client File, Funds or Other Property or the attached Request for Client File, Funds or Other Property.

[insert additional Clause re: Client Funds, Documents or Property in Trust, if applicable]

Once your file has been transferred and any file contents that belong to you have been returned to you, I [or insert name of lawyer who will store closed files] will continue to store [affected lawyer]'s copy of your closed file for [insert retention period]. After that time, I [or insert name of other lawyer] will destroy that copy of the closed file. If you or your new lawyer later require a copy of the closed file during this retention period, I [or insert name of lawyer or will store closed files] will provide an additional copy [at a cost of $         /page] [and a file retrieval change of $          , if applicable] to you.

You will receive a final accounting from the office of [affected lawyer] shortly. This will include any outstanding balances that you owe to [affected lawyer], and an accounting of any funds in your client trust account.

On behalf of [affected lawyer], I would like to thank you for giving [him/her] the opportunity to provide you with legal services.  If you have any additional concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me at [address] or [phone].

Sincerely,

[assisting lawyer, law firm]