This schedule details how long we retain client files for business and legal purposes in conjunction with the protection of client data.
|Type of Matter||Minimum Retention Period|
|Employment documentation||7 years|
|Immigration including advice, asylum, tribunals, work permits, applications for citizenship/nationality/passport||7 years|
|Trust Documentation including: Original trust deeds Originals of any supplemental deeds, such as deeds of appointment and advancement, the original letter or memorandum of wishes All original paperwork completed by the settlor during creation of the trust including questionnaires, declarations, due diligence records and administration files||End of trust period and date of vesting deed plus six years (whichever is later)|
|Trust Documentation – VAT Liability||7 years|
|Trust Documentation – Tax papers||12 years after the end of the trust period|
|Tax Documentation (General)||12 years after the end of the period or assessment|
|Corporate Documentation including company/partnership formation, insolvency, trademark / copyright / patent||12 years|
|Financial services (transactions and commissions effected or received under the SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001)||12 years|
|Wills and probate||Indefinitely|
|Property sale||7 years|
|Property purchase and mortgage||15 years|
|Leasehold and tenancy||Length of term plus 7 years|
|General litigation e.g. tribunals, mental health, prison matters, application for alcohol licence, harassment||12 years|
|Private client non-litigation advice, e.g. employment, pensions, powers of attorney, change of name, debt, personal insolvency, housing disrepair||7 years|
|Matters on behalf of minors||7 years from the date of the client attaining 18 years|
|All other client matter files||7 years|
Anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing records
|Item Description||Minimum Retention Period|
|Records, documents or information relating to an occasional transaction||10 years from the date you know or have reasonable grounds to suspect the transaction is complete|
|Records, documents or information relating to: – any transaction occurring as part of a business relationship, or – CDD measures taken in connection with that relationship||10 years for records relating to each individual transaction.|
|A copy of any documents and information obtained to satisfy CDD requirements, when CDD is relied on by another relevant person||A copy of any documents and information obtained to satisfy CDD requirements, when CDD is relied on by another relevant person|
HR Matters, including the retention of employee and partner personnel information and data
|Item Description||Minimum Retention Period|
|Job Applications and Resumes||6 months after rejection or hiring decision|
|Offer Letters and Employment Contracts||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Personnel Files (including basic employee info, performance records, etc.)||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Payroll Records (pay stubs, tax forms, etc.)||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Benefits Records (enrolment, claims, etc.)||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Time and Attendance Records||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Training and Development Records||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Performance Reviews and Appraisals||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Employee Disciplinary Records||Duration of employment + 6 years|
|Retirement and Pension Records||Duration of employment + 6 years|
Forming part of our internal record management policy, this record retention schedule lists the many types of records used by Bates Wells and the applicable retention periods for each record type.
It sets out the period that data should be retained for business and legal purposes in conjunction with the protection of client data.
As part of our engagement, you authorise us to destroy your records after that period, except for any part we have agreed to keep in safe custody for you.
We will be entitled to assume that you have kept copies of all important parts of your file sent to or given to us, and that nothing in your file is of unique importance or of special value, including (but not limited to) legal, literary, artistic or historical importance or intrinsic value.
Where feasible, business records should not be kept for more than one year longer than the retention period as set out unless the retention period for that particular record has been suspended as described at section 14 of our Record Management Policy, which is available on request.
If we maintain any types of records that are not listed in this schedule, and it is not clear from the existing record types what retention period should apply, please contact our Risk & Compliance team at [email protected] for guidance. For all recruitment retention period queries, please contact our HR Department on [email protected].
Version 2 – issued September 2023