Paying Your Fees from a Trust Account

Rule 1513 provides that before you pay your fees from a trust account, you must:

  • do the legal work to earn the fees;
  • prepare the invoice;
  • immediately deliver the invoice to the client (unless the client has instructed you in writing that you need not deliver an invoice); and
  • collect your fee from trust.

The Rule further provides that you can deliver the invoice by:

  • regular or registered mail to the client’s last known address;
  • personal delivery;
  • faxing it to client’s last known fax number;
  • e-mailing it to the client’s last known electronic address; or
  • making it available to the client by other means agreed to in writing by the client.

When you withdraw funds to pay your fees, make the cheque payable to your general account and include a file reference or invoice number in the memo line. You cannot draw trust cheques payable to “cash” or “bearer” (Rule 1514(1)).