Books, Accounts & Records
Fiscal Year End
Resident members, and non-resident members with a trust account in Yukon, who are engaged in the practice of law need to advise the Law Society of their fiscal year end date unless they are an employee or associate. If the fiscal year-end date changes, the member must advise the Law Society of the change in writing within one month after the change is made.
Unless you advise otherwise, your fiscal year-end will be deemed to be December 31.
Trust accounts are an important privilege and responsibility. They are essential to the conduct of all types of business, including the sale of property, the handling of estates and the settlement of court cases.
If you open a trust account, you need to advise the Law Society and also send a letter to the Bank with directions for any interest to be paid to the Yukon Law Foundation. This letter must also be copied to the Yukon Law Foundation and our office. (Rule 182(2))
The Law Society has strict requirements for lawyers to follow in keeping books and records for their trust accounts. Each year lawyers must file a detailed report with the Law Society to confirm that they are following the Society’s requirements for trust accounts.
If you have questions about setting up your trust account and/or the rule requirements for maintaining a trust account, please contact the Law Society office.
Fiscal Year End Reporting
Active resident members, and non-resident members with a trust account in Yukon, who are engaged in the private practice of law, are required to file a Form 30 Fiscal Year End Report within six months of their year end. A Form 30 must be completed by all sole practitioners and members practicing in a firm who are not exempt from filing this form pursuant to section 64(3) (employees and associates) during the fiscal year.
Failure to file the required Form 30 on or before the date required may result in immediate suspension from the Law Society of Yukon pursuant to Rule 181.
If you have a trust account, you will also have to file a Form 31 Fiscal Year End Report within six months of your year end. Please note that Form 31 has two parts. The first part must be completed by the sole practitioner/firm and signed by all members who are not exempt from filing the Form, pursuant to section 63(3). The second part must be completed by the accountant. Both parts must be submitted together.
Unclaimed Trust funds
Pursuant to Rule 62(1), if a member has been unable to locate a client for whom money is being held in the firm’s trust account for seven years, the member must pay the money or deliver the property to the Minister of Finance unless the Executive of the Law Society authorizes the member to hold the funds for a longer time.
Pursuant to Rule 62(2), if a member has been unable to locate a client for whom money is being held in the firms’ trust account for two years, the member may apply to the Executive of the Law Society for permission to pay the money to the Minister of Finance.
Retention of Records
Section 63(2) of the Legal Profession Act requires that the books, records and accounts of a member be retained for at least seven years with the exception of the following records which must be retained for at least 10 years:
- Trust cash receipt and disbursement books of original entry
- The clients’ trust ledger
- Trust reconciliation statements
- Bank statements, or pass books, cashed cheques and detailed duplicate deposit slips for all trust and general accounts
The Law Society of Yukon does not have a policy on the retention of client files and recommends members follow the policies set out by the Law Society of British Columbia.