Scanned copy of signed retainer agreement must be retained for seven years if the original is destroyed – NYSBA Opinion 1077

On December 9, 2015, the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar issued Opinion 1077 providing guidelines on how law firms should keep record of retainer and compensation agreements with clients.

A law firm with “a high volume practice” that receives “thousands of signed retainer agreements” every year asked whether they “may ethically scan each retainer agreement into the firm’s computer system and then destroy the original signed agreement”.

The Ethics Committee opined that it is ethically permissible to scan the original signed retainer agreements and then to destroy them, “provided that the firm maintains the scanned copies for seven years after the events they record”.

For more information on NYSBA Opinion 1077, see here

For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal

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