Succession and Disaster Relief Planning


Lawyers have a professional obligation to their clients to ensure that the client’s interests are protected in the event of interruptions, planned or unplanned, temporary or permanent, in the lawyer’s practice. 

Complying with this obligation also provides protection from the risk of an insurance claim while a lawyer may not be able to practice. 

Such planning may also reduce any unfortunate financial consequences, for the lawyer, or the lawyer’s estate, if the Law Society was required to take the unfortunate step of appointing a custodian for the lawyer’s practice.  There is a

Effective January 1, 2020, all NWT resident lawyers in private practice are required to have both a disaster recovery plan and a succession plan.  The plans can be combined.

Lawyers can be requested to provide these plans to the Law Society, or to the Law Society auditors. The Law Society Policy on Succession and Disaster Planning is here.  The Policy details what elements must be included in both plans.

Each law practice is different, each plan will be different.  Here are some resources that may assist you with your plan.

The Law Society of Alberta has a useful contingency planning handbook When Bad Things Happen to Good Lawyers. It contains checklists and a variety of precedents that should be useful as lawyers prepare their plans.

Eugene Meehan, of Supreme Advocacy, has prepared this plan for his office, and he has allowed us to share it as a model.  

The Law Society is happy to provide you with as much assistance as we can as you prepare or update your plan.

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