If you work in the legal profession as a solicitor, barrister, will writer, or other service provider, you’ll understand the importance of storing legal documents securely. Unlike many industries that have switched to digitalisation, the legal sector is still largely reliant on hard paper copies, with long-term storage a challenging issue.
Many legal practices are housed in older, compact properties where storage space is a premium; even for large corporate businesses, such as property conveyancers, each client’s file can grow to an astonishing size with every new document that arrives! With the requirement to retain legal records for many years, finding an efficient, secure, and cost-effective storage solution is a priority.
For How Long Should Legal Documents Be Retained?
The Law Society doesn’t provide a fixed term for the storage of legal documents, giving practitioners some flexibility. However, this must be balanced with the requirements of GDPR not to retain personal information for longer than is necessary. As a broad rule of thumb, the Limitation Act 1980 provides a primary limitation period of six years, which many legal practices adhere to for some types of documentation.
However, the longer-term storage of some legal documents is both justifiable and necessary. Residential conveyancing documents, for example, should be kept for between 6 and 15 years; matrimonial documents may need to be kept until the youngest child of a client reaches the age of 18; and Wills should be retained for six years after the Testator’s death (which could, theoretically, be several decades after the document was created).
How Should Legal Documents Be Stored?
There are several options for the storage of legal files:
1) On-Site Storage
If you have space in your legal practice, documents can be kept on-site in strong storage boxes. At CAS, we can provide triple-walled storage boxes for your premises, which feature an ergonomically designed handle for easy carrying and comfort. These boxes are durable and reinforced to prevent premature failure, so offer cost-effective long-term solution to your storage needs, and allow archived files to be transported easily. However, if you have restricted space on-site or are concerned with the security of your legal documents, off-site specialist storage is a preferable option.
2) Off-Site Storage
Our fireproof storage facilities in London, Essex, Suffolk, and the Midlands offer secure storage for legal documents for businesses anywhere in the country and are perfect for documents that must be retained but are unlikely to be often needed. At CAS, we offer a same-day document collection and management service in our secure vehicles, which are GPS-tracked for added peace of mind. Each document box is identifiable with a unique bar code so that you can manage it online. You can request a specific box to be returned at any time, or you can use our scan on-demand service to request a digital copy of any document.
3) Cloud Storage
Alternatively, our Cloud storage combines efficiency and security, offering an alternative way to manage the problem of mountains of paper documents. Simply scan your legal documents and upload the image to our secure Cloud storage portal, which offers multi-layered file permissions to prevent unauthorised access. Once scanned, the text of each document is fully searchable, so you can locate documents instantly whenever you need from any location. A managed document scanning and file conversion service is also available.
Contact Us To Arrange Secure Storage Of Your Legal Documents
To find out more about our storage solutions for your legal practice, get in touch with CAS Ltd today on 0845 5050 003.
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