3.9 Paying Your Fees from a Trust Account
The Rules of the Law Society, Rule 119.21(1)(4)(b), provides that before you may pay your fees from a trust account, as long as the funds were not for a designated purpose, if you
- have performed the legal work (i.e., the bill relates to services actually performed and not an estimate),
- prepare the bill,
- immediately deliver the bill to the client (unless the client has instructed you in writing that you need not deliver a bill) and
- collect your fee from trust.
You must withdraw the funds from your trust account within one month of becoming entitled to the funds (Rule 119.21(5)). You can reimburse yourself for disbursements made under the same circumstances (Rule 119.21(3)(b)).
When you withdraw funds to pay your fees, make the trust cheque payable to your general account. You cannot draw trust cheques payable to "cash" or "bearer" (Rule 119.22(1)(b)). As well, remember that you cannot use online web transfers to move your fees from the trust account to the general account. Some approved depositories may tell you that this is okay, but it is not in accordance with the Rules.