Client identification and verification


Law firms operating in Canada are required to follow the client identification and identification verification procedures specified by their Law society.  To begin using these new guidelines, you must first enable the option in System Settings.  Clients/matters opened on or prior to your province's effective date (specified in System Settings) are automatically marked Pre-existing.  


Identification and identification verification are separate procedures.  You must follow your Law Society's procedures for properly identifying all clients/matters for whom you provide professional services, subject to certain exceptions.  When opening a new client/matter, the program enables you to designate the client as an individual or as a business.  The identification information you enter is based on that designation.  For example, if a file is designated as a business, you can enter a business ID number.  If a file is designated as an individual, you can enter the client/matter occupation and passport number, social insurance number or driver's license number, for example.  Use the Document Management system to attach to the file electronic copies of documents used as identification.  For example, scan and attach a copy of the client's driver's license.  


Identity verification requirements apply if you will be processing trust funds on behalf of a client.  Unless a client/matter is designated exempt, you will be unable to process trust transactions for the file until it has been identified and verified.  If you do attempt to process a trust transaction for such a file, a warning message will display and you will be unable to proceed.  You must identify and verify the file, or mark it as Exempt.  


The Information Sheet and File Room Listing reports both include client identification and verification information.  Use the File Room Listing report to verify the status of files, and to easily determine whether trust transactions exist for unverified, non-exempt files.  


Contact your local Law society for information on client identification and verification guidelines specific to your province.