Skip to Content

Opening a trust account

On this Page

Before opening a trust account

For a law practice to be authorised to operate a trust account, a principal or legal director in the law practice must hold a current practising certificate authorising the receipt of trust money.

To be eligible to apply for this practising certificate lawyers must have satisfied the Legal Services Board’s (“the Board”) Grant of a Principal Practising Certificate Policy.

Where can trust accounts be opened?

Trust accounts may only be opened with an approved deposit taking institution. These are:

  • Macquarie Bank
  • ANZ Bank
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Bank of Melbourne/St George Bank
  • National Australia Bank
  • Westpac
  • Commonwealth Bank

When opening a trust account, the law practice or approved clerk must ensure that their account name meets the requirements set out in the Uniform General Rules.

A law practice must also include the words law practice trust account or law practice trust a/c, while an approved clerk must also include the expression approved clerk trust account or approved clerk trust a/c.

We are not able to register your trust account until you comply with this requirement.

Banks must report daily to the Board on the total deposits, withdrawals and the balance of all trust accounts.

Bank instructions for opening new trust accounts

To facilitate the correct opening of trust accounts, please refer to the instructions for your chosen bank.

Please note: Banks may charge fees for transactions (deposits, cheques written, cheques deposited etc), or for ad hoc services (overseas transactions, dishonours, stopped cheques, voucher retrieval or tracing etc.), unless otherwise negotiated with the account holder. Please refer to your bank for more information about possible fees.

Bank

Instructions for opening new trust accounts

Contact details

ANZ Bank

Information about opening a Statutory Trust Account with ANZ.

Please contact your ANZ Business Banking Manager or visit the ANZ website

Bendigo Bank

Refer to the Bendigo Bank information on Regulated Trust Accounts.

Refer to the Bendigo Bank information on Regulated Trust Accounts.

Commonwealth Bank

Contact the Commonwealth Bank for information on how to open a Victorian Solicitor Trust Account. Tel: 131 998. Applicants will need to complete an Authority for Business Accounts.

See the Commonwealth Bank Statutory Trust Accounts web page; Tel: 131 998.

Macquarie Bank

Email depositservices@macquarie.com for details on how to open a trust account or visit the Macquarie Bank website

Visit the Macquarie Bank website for further information on how our services may benefit your law firm

National Australia Bank

Contact the National Australia Bank to obtain a NAB Statutory Trust Account Opening Form.

For more information about fees and charges, please visit the NAB website

St George Bank / Bank of Melbourne

Information about opening a Statutory Trust Account with Bank of Melbourne

Visit the Bank of Melbourne website

Westpac

Refer to the Westpac website for general procedures to open a Statutory Trust Account – Solicitors. Practitioners are also required to take the Intention to Open Statutory Trust Account(s) form to the branch when opening a Trust Account.

For more information about fees and charges, please visit the Westpac website or call 132 142

 

Notifying the Board

The law practice or approved clerk must notify the Board when a trust account is opened by completing our Notification of trust account details form. This must be signed by a principal of the law practice or the approved clerk. Failure to notify the Board when a trust account is opened may result in penalties for the law practice and may, in some cases, result in disciplinary outcomes for principals who do not comply with this legislative requirement. 

Upon receiving confirmation from the bank, the Board will ask the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to open a statutory deposit account (SDA).

External examiners

Within one month of opening the trust account, the law practice or approved clerk must appoint an External Examiner (EE). The Board must be notified that an EE has been appointed within 14 days of the appointment by completing the following form:

  • Part A of External Examiners – Consent to Appointment. The principal of the law practice or an approved clerk and EE must sign this form.

The Board maintains a register of External Examiners  to assist law practices in finding a registered Examiner.

Notifying the Board of changes

A law practice or an approved clerk must notify the Board when any details of an account are changed and when a trust account is closed. Notifications must be made to the Board using the Notification of Trust Account details form (Form 8).

Part 4.2 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 has more information.

Opening a trust account in a foreign currency

Although the Uniform Law does not prohibit the opening of a trust account in a foreign currency, the policy of the Board is that law practices and approved clerks may only operate a trust account in Australian dollars.

Last updated on
* Indicates required field
Back to top