Could anyone help me locate the source/authority for the requirement for solicitors to store client files for 6 years from closure or from age 18? I also need to check if it is correct that, where the client is mentally incapacitated, we have to store the closed file indefinitely & the source for this. Thanks.
The SRA practice rule on this is set out at the attached link- basically the SRA state they cannot specify how long files should be kept but a minimum of 6 years is advisable (presumably because the normal limitation period for a (non personal injury) negligence claim is 6 years). Note this was the provision pre 2007-the new rules, on brief glance, don't seem to have a similar schedule but the principle would probably hold good(?) They also say you should consider carefully before destroying documents whether any in fact belong to the client. In relation to incapacitated clients you might want to check with the office of the Official Solicitor. You could in any case ring the Law Society's ethics line who should be able to tell you.