Winding Up Your Practice
This course does not explore your obligations on winding-up or moving a practice. When you get to the point where you are planning to do so, however, the Law Society has resources to assist you. It is essential that you communicate with existing and former clients as their rights and interests may be affected by your decision. If you have questions, consult a practice advisor at the Law Society. In addition to referring to the practice material, it is essential that you review and comply with Law Society Rule 3-87.
If you have drafted wills for clients, it is important (whether you are winding up your practice, or just moving firms) to contact the testators and advise them of your plans. Don’t leave this to the last minute, as it may take some effort to get in touch with the testators and arrange for them to take possession of their wills. Provide them with your new contact information and the effective date your contact information will change (e.g., as of July 1, 2020 I can be reached at [address; telephone; email]). The standards for communicating with your client regarding the winding-up of your practice are the same as for withdrawing from representation, BC Code section 3.7.
Also remember that section 3.5 of the BC Code places lawyers under a duty to safeguard client property in the lawyer’s possession, subject to a right of lien or agreement to the contrary to return property at the conclusion of the retainer. Review this Law Society schedule for suggested retention periods, as well as the Law Society Rules, 3-75.