New Zealand Law Society - Trust account certificates

Trust account certificates

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).

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, upcoming dates are listed below. Don't forget that quarterly certificates are also due 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.

Monthly certificate submission dates

Certificate for month of October 2020

Submission due: no earlier than 1 November 2020 and no later than 13 November 2020

Certificate for month of November 2020

Submission due: no earlier than 1 December 2020 and no later than 14 December 2020

Certificate for month of December 2020

Submission due: no earlier than 1 January 2021 and no later than 25 January 2021
Note: Quarterly Certificate also due

Certificate for month of January 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 February 2021 and no later than 15 February 2021

Certificate for month of February 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 March 2021 and no later than 12 March 2021

Certificate for month of March 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 April 2021 and no later than 16 April 2021
Note: Quarterly Certificate also due

Certificate for month of April 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 May 2021 and no later than 14 May 2021

Certificate for month of May 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 June 2021 and no later than 15 June 2021

Certificate for month of June 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 July 2021 and no later than 14 July 2021
Note: Quarterly Certificate also due

Certificate for month of July 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 August 2021 and no later than 13 August 2021

Certificate for month of August 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 September 2021 and no later than 14 September 2021

Certificate for month of September 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 October 2021 and no later than 14 October 2021
Note: Quarterly Certificate also due

Certificate for month of October 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 November 2021 and no later than 12 November 2021

Certificate for month of November 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 December 2021 and no later than 14 December 2021

Certificate for month of December 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 January 2022 and no later than 25 January 2022
Note: Quarterly Certificate also due

Quarterly certificate submission dates

Quarterly certificate October-December 2020

Submission due: no earlier than 1 January 2021 and no later than 25 January 2021

Quarterly certificate for January-Mar 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 April 2021 and no later than 16 April 2021

Quarterly certificate for April-June 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 July 2021 and no later than 14 July 2021

Quarterly certificate for July-September 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 October 2021 and no later than 14 October 2021

Quarterly certificate for October-December 2021

Submission due: no earlier than 1 January 2022 and no later than 25 January 2022

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