The Ownership and Destruction of Files

Who owns what in files? The answer is not entirely straightforward and, drawing on the opinion of Counsel, the Society has produced this guidance which we hope will deal with the main queries which arise

Lenders’ requests for Solicitor Files

The Opinion of Senior Counsel regarding requests by lenders or their solicitors for copies of files.

Document Control and File Tracking

When a solicitor takes control of files from another solicitor for any reason and in any situation (including but not limited to receipt of files either in implement of a Mandate or where files are taken over from a ceased practice) the solicitor receiving the files should keep a record of all the files received.

Scanning and Archiving Documents

Electronic storage of files may be a practical way of dealing with storage.

Electronic Communications

Written email and social media policies intimated in writing to everyone in the practice unit is good risk management. They should be reviewed regularly and link to other relevant practice unit policies (for example, E-Communications, Business Continuity, Equal Opportunities, Bring Your Own Device, IP/copyright infringement or IT Security Policies etc.).

Charging for Lending or Delivering Files, Titles and other Papers

Where a solicitor is asked to lend titles or other documents to another solicitor a fee may properly be charged for such lending to cover both the delivery and return of the documents