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Trust account certificates

24 October 2019

Trust account certificates are governed by s115 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (LCA), and the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Trust Account) Regulations 2008 (Regulations), namely sections 17 (1) & (2) for monthly and quarterly reporting.

The Financial Assurance Scheme certification programme helps alert the Law Society Inspectorate to any potential compliance issues. Monthly and quarterly certificates are required by statute for all lawyers operating a trust account under Reg 17 of the Trust Account Regulations.

Certificates are used for monitoring trust account management and to assist with early identification of possible compliance problems or of lawyers in need of advice or assistance.

Lawyers must ensure that certificates are correctly completed and promptly submitted by the appropriate authority (the Trust Account Supervisor).

Filing certificates

All certificates are filed online by the Trust Account Supervisor using their six digit lawyer ID (also known as the lawyer login, and shown on practising certificates).

Log in to Registry using your lawyer login.

Monthly certificates and quarterly certificates

Lawyers’ monthly trust account certificates are due on the 10th working day of the following month, except December which is due on the 15th working day in January. For convenience, the dates for 2018 are listed below. Don't forget that quarterly certificates are also due as at the end of March, June, September and December.

Please note that provincial anniversary holidays are counted as working days, and do not affect the due date. Be aware if you have got one coming up, to account for it in planning to file the certificate. In particular, October 2020’s monthly certificate is due to be filed between 1 and 13 November 2020; this filing period contains the Marlborough Anniversary on 2 November, and the Canterbury Anniversary on the due date itself. The December 2020 monthly and quarterly certificate is due to be filed between 1 and 25 January 2021, which is the Wellington Anniversary.

The purpose of quarterly reporting is to summarise the scale of any lending operation and any loans in default in addition to the normal 5 monthly questions - if there is no lending, the lawyer will only be required to answer the extra question 6. If there is lending, when the lawyer responds ‘Yes’ to question 6, there will be a requirement to answer questions 7 to 18 in addition.

If you are having difficulty reconciling the trust account, you are still required to submit your certificate by the due date. You would need to declare that you have not correctly reconciled the trust account and provide an explanation.

A full set of instructions on how to file these certificates online is available.

Certificate for month:Certification Period StartsDue dateQuarterly Certificate
also due?
October 2019 1 November 2019 14 November 2019 -
November 2019 1 December 2019 13 December 2019 -
December 2019 1 January 2020 23 January 2020 23 January 2020
January 2020 1 February 2020 17 February 2020 -
February 2020 1 March 2020 13 March 2020 -
March 2020 1 April 2020 16 April 2020 16 April 2020
April 2020 1 May 2020 14 May 2020 -
May 2020 1 June 2020 15 June 2020 -
June 2020 1 July 2020 14 July 2020 14 July 2020
July 2020 1 August 2020 14 August 2020 -
August 2020 1 September 2020 14 September 2020 -
September 2020 1 October 2020 14 October 2020 14 October 2020
October 2020 1 November 2020 13 November 2020 -
November 2020 1 December 2020 14 December 2020 -
December 2020 1 January 2021 25 January 2021 25 January 2021

Last updated on the 24th October 2019