This schedule details how long we retain client files for business and legal purposes in conjunction with the protection of client data.

Type of MatterMinimum Retention Period
Employment documentation7 years
Immigration including advice, asylum, tribunals, work permits, applications for citizenship/nationality/passport7 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 filesEnd of trust period and date of vesting deed plus six years (whichever is later)
Trust Documentation – VAT Liability7 years
Trust Documentation – Tax papers12 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 / patent12 years
Financial services (transactions and commissions effected or received under the SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001)12 years
Wills and probateIndefinitely
Property sale7 years
Property purchase and mortgage15 years
Leasehold and tenancyLength of term plus 7 years
General litigation e.g. tribunals, mental health, prison matters, application for alcohol licence, harassment12 years
Private client non-litigation advice, e.g. employment, pensions, powers of attorney, change of name, debt, personal insolvency, housing disrepair7 years
Matters on behalf of minors7 years from the date of the client attaining 18 years
All other client matter files7 years

Anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing records

Item DescriptionMinimum Retention Period
Records, documents or information relating to an occasional transaction10 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 person10 years from the date on which you are relied on

Important Information

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 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 Professional Standards and Risk Department on [email protected] for guidance. For all recruitment retention period queries, please contact our HR Department on [email protected].