By -

The occasional events in ordinary life that may blot our copy book, stain our good name or cause some nightmare to slowly unfold, may produce a moment of silence to consider circumstance that to our dismay has befallen us.

This may affect the course of our professional lives in the practice of law, as undesirable things happen to a solicitor that may cause a moment to ponder and ask the question “should I tell anyone about this?”, especially around the time when applying for a practising certificate.

When certain undesirable events occur, they give rise to obligations upon the solicitor, where they “…must disclose to the Law Society as soon as practicable or within a prescribed time.”

The first example would be when a practicing certificate holder must notify the Law Society (as the designated local regulatory authority) in writing within 7 days if:

“…. the holder has been charged with or convicted of a serious offence, a tax offence or an offence specified in the Uniform Rule……or if a bankruptcy-related event has occurred; or…. if subject to disciplinary proceedings as a lawyer in a foreign country ….”

This can be achieved by using the notification form at the ‘Offences and show cause events’ page on our website here (notice may also be given by email to [email protected])

Another example is an ‘irregularity’ of a Trust account where there is a strict obligation to report any ‘irregularity’ to the Trust Accounting Department at the Law Society. If an irregularity may occur in any of the law practice’s trust accounts or of any trust money received, then a solicitor “….as soon as practicable after forming the belief, give written notice of it to the designated local regulatory authority…” (notice can be by email to the [email protected].)

The best practice is to show caution and diligence and to disclose as soon as practicable when there is any issue that may fall under our mandatory disclosure requirements.