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Backdating email

So as can be seen, the issue of backdating can be a contentious one.

It is not straight forward and can give problems to any lawyer that agrees to backdate a document, even if he makes it clear on the document that it is backdated, as he must be careful to make sure that he knows why the document is being backdated and that it is being done for a legitimate reason.

This is not an agreement that could have been made orally.

Does he need to check to see whether that was actually the case or can he take an ostrich-like position and put his head in the sand and not ask any questions?

A client or, in the case of an in house lawyer colleague (who for the purposes of this article will also be considered a client), asks you to prepare a document and then your heart sinks as he says “oh and it has to be dated” and gives a date which has already passed.

Is it legal to comply with the request or must it always be refused outright?

What confirmation of the earlier agreement did the client or the company for which the client (and lawyer) works provide?

Is the client a longstanding one who has always acted properly in the past? These are questions he will probably be asked by the judge or regulator if things go wrong and to which he will need convincing answers.

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