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Retention period for client files

Retention period for client files

German lawyers must keep their client files for six years according to the relevant professional law provision ยง 50 para. 1 sentence 2 BRAO. The period begins with the end of the calendar year in which the mandate ended. However, the regular limitation period in Germany is only 3 years. A colleague also successfully objected to this against the claim for restitution of an insolvency administrator who sued for restitution of the insolvent company's hand files. The BGH instructed the insolvency administrator that a distinction must be made between a duty under civil law and a duty under professional law (BGH v. 15 October 2020 - IX ZR 243/19). If the lawyer destroys the hand files after 4 years, he is therefore only threatened with trouble with the bar association, but no longer with his client.