Law Society of British Columbia v. A Solicitor
Ken McEwan successfully represented the Law Society of British Columbia in a hearing relating to a lawyer’s use of a trust account
In this case, the lawyer breached his duty to ensure his trust account was not misused when he failed to make reasonable inquiries regarding the source of funds in excess of $25 million which flowed through his trust account in relation to four transactions. Further, the lawyer had provided no legal advice in respect of these transactions. This decision established the principle that lawyers are required to use trust accounts for legitimate commercial purposes that are connected to the lawyer’s professional functions, such that lawyers have a positive duty to make reasonable inquiries about the source of and circumstances related to the funds being deposited into their account prior to becoming involved in the transaction.