Closing a client matter
Closing a client matter

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Closing a client matter
  • Regulatory requirements
  • SRA requirements
  • Lexcel
  • General procedure
  • Informing the client
  • Reviewing the file
  • File storage and destruction
  • Closing letter
  • Concluding risk assessment/review
  • More...

Closing a client matter properly is a basic client care, risk management and housekeeping requirement. There are also regulatory and best practice issues to consider.

This Practice Note covers the practical steps involved in and regulatory and other considerations surrounding, closing a client matter.

Regulatory requirements

SRA requirements

The SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 require you to show that you provide services to clients in a manner which protects their interests, subject to the proper administration of justice.

The Standards and Regulations are not prescriptive about how you might do this.

The Law Society says that establishing good processes, systems and controls for orderly file closure is central to:

  1. running an efficient practice

  2. managing risk

  3. fulfilling your obligations to the client to provide a competent service

Where you supervise or manage others providing legal services, you remain accountable for the work carried out through them (paragraph 3.5 SCCS) and for ensuring that the individuals you manage are competent to carry out their role and understand their regulatory obligations (paragraph 3.6 SCCS).

The Law Society suggests you should have a written, standardised policy for file closure. It also suggests you should have a checklist, which accords with your policy, to help preserve a consistent approach. See Precedents: Matter closure form and File or matter closure workflow, and File and matter closure checklist.

Lexcel

If you are Lexcel accredited you will need to perform a concluding

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