13. Completion or termination of engagement

    1. A solicitor with designated responsibility for a client’s matter must ensure completion of the legal services for that matter UNLESS:
      1. the client has otherwise agreed;
      2. the law practice is discharged from the engagement by the client;
      3. the law practice terminates the engagement for just cause and on reasonable notice; or
      4. the engagement comes to an end by operation of law.
    2. Where a client is required to stand trial for a serious criminal offence, the client’s failure to make satisfactory arrangements for the payment of costs will not normally justify termination of the engagement UNLESS the solicitor or law practice has:
      1. served written notice on the client of the solicitor’s intention, a reasonable time before the date appointed for commencement of the trial or the commencement of the sittings of the court in which the trial is listed, providing the client at least seven (7) days to make satisfactory arrangements for payment of the solicitor’s cost; and
      2. given appropriate notice to the registrar of the court in which the trial is listed to commence.
    3. Where a client is legally assisted and the grant of aid is withdrawn or otherwise terminated, a solicitor or law practice may terminate the engagement by giving reasonable notice in writing to the client, such that the client has a reasonable opportunity to make other satisfactory arrangements for payment of costs which would be incurred if the engagement continued.

Guidance statements

This Guidance Statement is concerned specifically with ‘limited scope representation' in the dispute resolution context.

When is a client or solicitor entitled to terminate a retainer? How should a retainer be terminated? What are the duties of the solicitor on termination of a retainer?

When receiving funds from clients, especially in cash or where there may be doubt as to whether the source of the funds are legitimate, solicitors and law practices need to be aware of their ethical obligations and those under anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime legislation.

When receiving cash from clients, solicitors and law practices need to be aware of their ethical obligations and those under Commonwealth Financial Reporting legislation.