A lawyer who is retained by a client must obtain and record the client’s identification as prescribed by the Regulations made pursuant to the Legal Profession Act for the purpose of identifying the client.

A lawyer must take reasonable steps to confirm the identity of a person who:

(a) signs a document in a transaction where the lawyer is responsible for the proper execution of the document;

(b) executes a document the lawyer witnesses;

(c) swears an affidavit before the lawyer; or

(d) gives a solemn declaration to the lawyer.1

The lawyer must be aware of what identification may be relied upon.2

The lawyer must take reasonable steps to document the confirmation in the lawyer’s file or by other means.3


  1. Regulations made pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, S.N.S 2004, c.28, s. 4.5; Yamada v. Mock, 1996 CanLII 8024 (ON SC). Supervision of employees: Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Code of Professional Conduct, Halifax: Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 2012, section 6.1: Supervision (See rules and commentaries under rule 6.1-1 (Direct Supervision Required), rule 6.1-2 (Application) and rule 6.1-3 (Delegation)).
  2. Personal Health Information Act, S.N.S 2010. C.41, s.27: Lawyers not authorized to collect or use an individual’s health card number.
  3. Standard 1.5 – Documentation of Advice and Instructions.

Approved by Council November 24, 2006; amended May 18, 2018.