If you forget your password, click on ‘I’ve forgotten my password’, enter your six-digit individual lawyer login, and a replacement password will be emailed to your registered email address.
All law firms running a trust account must submit monthly and quarterly certificates, the certificate must be submitted by the appointed Trust Account Supervisor (TAS).
Firms not running a trust account must hold an exemption under s317 (1) of the LCA (refer to: practising without a trust account).
Regulation 17 states that certificates must be filed by the 10th working day of each month in respect of the preceding month.
Except for the December certificate, when the deadline is the 15th working day of January.
These dates apply for both monthly and quarterly certificates, and do not take regional or other public holidays into account.
Late certificates are recorded in the Law Society Registry database and notified to Inspectors.
You will be reminded shortly after the due date that your certificate is late.
If for any reason you are unable to reconcile your trust account, do not allow your certificate to be late.
Please submit the certificate (before the due date), respond ‘No’ to question 4 and provide a detailed explanation as to what has occurred and how it was rectified.
It is recommended that you (or your staff) have a calendar reminder to ensure that your certificate is submitted within the statutorily required deadline.
The Registry certificate system will acknowledge receipt of your certificate within minutes if you tick "send an email to TA Supervisor when submitted".
You can also check it’s been submitted by clicking on the ‘Certificates’ tab on the left of your screen. This tab shows your certification history under the heading 'existing certificates'.
If in any doubt about whether the certificate is correctly filed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
As per regulation 17(2)(a) you need to advise (either in the positive or negative), whether the collection of interest on any loans or other debt securities was undertaken on behalf of lenders by the practice during the relevant quarter.
If it was not, you just need to answer ‘no’ to question 6.
Yes to question 6 may be appropriate, if you do other kinds of lending.
The Regulations specify that you must report on ‘the collection of interest on any loans or other debt securities…on behalf of lenders by the practice’ i.e. private or single lender mortgages, or contributory mortgages.
1. To check the trust ledger was correctly reconciled with the corresponding trust bank accounts for both the general trust account and interest-bearing deposit (IBD) accounts you should:
2. Check the following to ensure the trust account records were a complete and accurate record of transactions during the month and of each client’s position:
3. Check the following to ensure the trust account transactions during the month have been in accordance with client instructions and (where completed), properly accounted for to clients:
The firm float (advance account) in the trust account was overdrawn for one day due to a staff error. How should I report this?
You should report this in the form of a ‘No’ answer under item 4 on the monthly certificate, with a brief explanation – no separate letter is necessary.
The trust bank account became overdrawn due to a processing error.
The bank failed to credit the funds for settlement on a transaction as had been arranged. As a result, the trust account was overdrawn for a few days. Must I report this?
If the overdraw was due to a bank error and has since been remedied, the trust account itself can be regarded as still being in order and you should enter a ‘Yes’ under item 4. However, it may still be appropriate to seek a written explanation from the bank and keep it on your file.
Regulation 16(4)(c) permits another partner to verify the correctness of the certificate and sign. If you are a sole practitioner, your attorney (appointed pursuant to s44 and Schedule 1 of the LCA) can sign on your behalf, however s/he will not have your electronic password, so they should use a paper certificate available by emailing email@example.com.
The Registry department need to ensure that the new person taking on the role is properly qualified and that the dates of the changeover are clearly recorded. Only one partner in a firm is the designated TAS at one time. If there is ambiguity about who filled the role and when, the validity of the TAS qualification can be affected (see below).
Trust Account Regulation 19 provides that a TAS qualification is valid for three years after being successfully completed, during which time you must take up the role to maintain the validity beyond that time. Completing the qualification does not in itself mean that you are now the designated TAS for the firm; you must still make the Law Society aware that you have chosen to take up the role and undertake the role continuously ideally for a period of not less than 12 months.
If, having taken up the role of TAS, you later decide to step down, the life of the qualification is extended to ten years because of your experience. The difference between the three and ten years’ life of the qualification is the reason for the importance of advising the Law Society when the role changes.
Apply to the Law Society at firstname.lastname@example.org for an exemption under reg 20 of the Trust Account Regulations.
If you have any queries about monthly and quarterly certification, please email email@example.com.
You can certify to the Law Society in the form prescribed under Regulation 4, that you do not:
You will be required to certify that you have not done any of those things during the preceding 12 months and do not intend to do any of them in the following 12 months.
You will be required to renew this certificate each year.