Description of Business Function
The function performed by a law firm and/or solicitors, as well as barristers.
Basis of Retention and Disposition
Guidance on retention is provided by the Law Society. The Law Society states that you should also consider any file retention requirements of your indemnity insurers when assessing the appropriate length of time to retain client files.
Please also see The Law Society Practice Note on Depositing records and documents with public sector archives http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/practice-notes/depositing-records-files/
Firms will need to take account of legislation including the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, Data Protection Act 1998, the Limitation Act 1980 and the statutory need to keep Accounting Records.
The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers and provides guidance on record keeping – see below.
Please also see the Legal Affairs page.
Retention Rules Per Record Type
The Law Society guidance on client Care Information can be found here http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/practice-notes/client-care-letters/
For Barristers’ Chambers, the following Bar Standards Board guidance has a section on Administration and record keeping https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media/1580337/public_access_guidance_for_barristers_-_jan_2014.pdf
Wills and Probate
The Law Society guidance can be found here https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/practice-notes/file-retention-wills-probate/
The Law Society guidance can be found here https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/practice-notes/file-retention-trusts/
Client Due Diligence
Information on retention of client due diligence files, see paragraph 3.8 of the Law Society’s anti-money laundering practice note http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/Advice/Practice-notes/AML/Systems-policies-and-procedures/#h3spprecs
Citations and References
Data Protection Act 1998 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents
The Limitation Act 1980 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/58/contents
The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/2157/contents/made
The Solicitors Regulation Authority Handbook http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/welcome.page
The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales in the public interest https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/