Client Identification - Potential Client

Lawyers may encounter client identification issues at different stages of a retainer.

First contact with a potential client may be when the individual contacts you about retaining your services. To perform a conflict check to determine if you can accept the matter, you must gather sufficient information about the potential client and the other parties in the matter. However, you are not required to comply with the Client Identification Requirements at this time.

So why not gather all the personal information about that potential client at the outset? It sounds like it would be convenient to gather information in one step, but the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) provides that organizations (including law firms) can only collect personal information for purposes that are reasonable. Since the Law Society Rules only require that this personal information be obtained once a lawyer is retained, it is implicit that lawyers do not require that information before they are retained. 

Last modified: Monday, 21 August 2023, 9:25 AM