Charging for document storage

Rule 16 of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 (Qld) (ASCR) provides that a solicitor must not charge for the storage of documents, files or other property on behalf of clients or former clients of the solicitor or law practice (or predecessors in practice) (Rule 16.1.1); or for retrieval from storage of those documents, files or other property (Rule 16.1.2), unless the client or former client has agreed in writing to such charge being made.

In the Legal Services Commissioner v Rose [2007] VCAT 2180 a disciplinary tribunal found a solicitor guilty of unsatisfactory conduct for charging a fee for the retrieval of documents held by him in storage contrary to Rule 37 of the Professional Conduct and Practice Rules 2003 (similar to Rule 16 ASCR).