Client Identification versus Client Verification

The Client Identification Rules and the Client Verification Rules apply at different points in a retainer. You are obliged to know your client, understand your client’s financial dealings in relation to the retainer, and manage any risks arising from the professional business relationship with your client. Whenever you are retained to provide legal services of any nature to a client, you must comply with the Client Identification Rules of the Law Society of Alberta. See Rule 119.46(1).

The Rules described in this Module require you to obtain basic identification information about individuals or organizations.

You must identify your client in every new retainer.

You do not have to verify your client in all retainers. Verification requirements only arise when you receive, pay or transfer funds on behalf of a client, or give instructions for such activities on behalf of a client. There are certain exceptions to these requirements which will be covered in this module. For instance, the client’s payment of your fees and disbursements is not a transaction that triggers the obligation to verify your client.

For client verification, the information you must gather goes beyond obtaining basic identification. You must make reasonable efforts to obtain and retain copies of information which may be used to confirm the identity of the client.

Last modified: Friday, 26 April 2024, 2:51 PM