Gain authority to operate a trust account
A law practice must not receive trust money unless at least one of its principals is authorised to receive trust money. This policy sets out how we might exercise discretion to grant a certificate with or without the condition authorising receipt of trust money. Once you have confirmed you are eligible to receive trust money, log in to LSB Online and apply to vary your practising certificate. You will need to wait for you PC to be issued before opening a trust account at a bank.
An approved clerk may also receive trust money for legal costs for one or more barristers.
Choose a bank
You can open a trust account at any branch of:
- Macquarie Bank
- ANZ Bank
- Bendigo Bank
- Bank of Melbourne/St George Bank
- Commonwealth Bank
- National Australia Bank (see opening form here)
Each Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) has a different process for opening an account and has different requirements, services and fees associated with the operating of a trust account.
We recommend that you research your options and choose the bank best suited for your business.
You will need to contact the ADI directly to discuss their requirements for opening a trust account.
Once you have opened an account with your chosen ADI, you must let us know the details of that account.
Do this by completing this form and sending it via our Lawyer Enquiry Form with an official bank document confirming the account details.
Appoint an External Examiner
You must appoint an External Examiner (EE) who is qualified to examine the records of a law practice or barristers’ clerk. A list of EE's is available for download. This Register is updated monthly.
You must notify us of the appointment of your EE using the notification of appointment of External Examiner form within a month after first receiving trust money (other than transit money).
Open a Statutory Deposit Account (SDA)
When we receive a notification of a new trust account, we will request the Commonwealth Bank of Australia opens an SDA that’s linked to your trust account.
We will send the notification of the SDA Account and you will need to complete the SDA confirmation form.
You will be given your LSB Online login details and instructions for using the online service when you notify us of the opening of a new trust account. Please contact us if you did not receive the login details. Only authorised users can withdraw funds from a statutory deposit account.
Comply with professional obligations
You can comply with your professional obligations by:
- Completing your quarterly SDA requirements
- Being up-to-date with the trust account rules
- Having the right tools in place. There are several trust accounting software packages available on the market. Before purchasing one of them, make sure it has the capacity to comply with the law. A list of trust accounting software packages that have been examined and certified by the Trust Accounts Department of the NSW Law Society can be found on their website.
- Understanding your end of trust year obligations
- Reporting any irregularities or suspected irregularities to the Board