Sunday, February 13, 2011

Verifying Client’s Identity in PCLaw

This weeks topic originated from a suggestion submitted by Chris. He wrote:
“How do we use PCLaw to indicate that we have verified a client's identity (per our Law Society requirements) and store the copied ID on file?”
As of December 31, 2008, subsection 22(1) of By-Law 7.1 requires that you obtain specific details identifying your clients for all new matters, “regardless of whether the client is a new or existing client”. For individuals you need to obtain a copy of a government issued document, like a birth certificate, driver’s licence, health card, etc. For corporations you need to obtain a written confirmation from a government registry as to the existence, name and address of the organization, which includes the names of the organization’s directors and status. Examples include a Certificate of Status or a copy of an Annual filing.

To make note of this information in PCLaw, you must first place a checkmark in System Settings – Matter – Know Your Client.  

You can then use New Matter to open a new file and save/close the entry. Reopen this same new matter in Matter Manager, and select the IndIDVfy tab. You can enter that you have confirmed the identity each party you are acting for, the type of ID, and where a copy is stored (paper file, scanned .pdf, etc).  You can use Document Manager to link the contact in PCLaw to a document saved on your computer.

For corporate clients, when you reopen the newly created file in Matter Manager, you click-on Add Tabs and select CorpIDVfy.  This tab provides spaces for the LSUC required Directors and persons owning 25% or more.

If you have a small roster of current clients, and you want all of your past verifications recorded into PCLaw, simply open the file in Matter Manager – Add Tabs – and select IndIDVfy or CorpIDVfy as needed. 

Once completed, when you display or print a list of clients, the column near the centre of the list will indicate Yes or No as to whether or not a client’s ID has been verified.  You are required to verify the identity of an old client if they open a new matter, so eventually, your list should only be displaying “Yes”.

Thank you Chris for the topic suggestion. As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future posts.  Next week – Accounts Receivable reports.