Law Firm Best Practices: Sending a Closing Letter

By Mary Elizabeth Hammond

When a legal case or matter has closed, it’s best practice to send a law firm closing letter to the client informing them that their legal representation has ended. Without clearly and formerly communicating closure, a client may think their representation is still occurring and lawyers risk unintentional malpractice. Closing letters not only help to clear up confusion or potential miscommunication, but they also help lawyers and clients part ways professionally and leave the door open for future business. 

In this article, we will cover the importance of sending a closing letter, what your firm should include in each letter, and a written example for reference.

The Importance of Sending a Closing Letter to Clients

Knowing when a matter has ended may seem like common sense, but clients are often unfamiliar with standard legal practices. Sending a law firm closing letter eliminates client uncertainty by formally ending their legal representation in writing. 

A case closure letter also protects you and your firm from any “failure to inform” malpractice claims. 

Sending a Closing Letter: Best Practices

Below are some best practices to ensure that your closure letter effectively and clearly ends representation, while keeping clients in good graces with you and your firm for potential future business. 

  • Be clear and succinct. The contents of your closure letter must be easily understood by the recipient/client. Avoid using verbose legal jargon that may confuse or mislead. Clearly state a brief description of the case, that their legal representation has ended, and thank the client for their business. No need to drag it on—keep it short and straightforward. 
  • Send the closing letter in a timely manner. If you wait too long to send a closing letter, the client may still think that you are representing them. Send off your closing letter as soon as your representation has ended. This includes after a case or matter has been closed or for any other reason, such as the closing of your practice. 

How to Write a Closing Letter and What to Include 

A case closure letter should be tailored specifically to each client for a non-robotic cadence. However, there is some basic information that should be included when crafting a closure letter, including:

  • Case specifics and number: Briefly outline the case and its specifics. State clearly which case you are referring to, particularly if there are multiple cases or matters with this same client. Be sure to include the case number.  
  • The status of the case and any case documents: Let the client know the status of the case or matter. Include any required information on retaining case documents. For example, if your firm’s retention policy is to keep case files for x number of years, let the client know that. Or if you are returning any original client documents with the law firm closing letter, include this information. 
  • The date: Date the letter. Include when the case concluded and when the client’s legal representation ended. 
  • Reason for representation ending: It’s also important to include information on why the client’s legal representation is coming to an end. This may be due to the closure of the case or any organizational change (relevant to their matter) such as the closure of your practice or a new representing attorney. Whatever the reason, make it clear. 
  • Any action items: List any next steps that the client needs to take care of, such as paying the final bill. 
  • Gratitude: Just because you are ending your representation in this matter or case, doesn’t mean you need to end your relationship with the client. Thank the client for choosing you to represent them and let them know that you would be happy to represent them again—should they require legal assistance in the future. 
  • Asking for feedback: Ask your client for feedback either with a questionnaire (you can enclose this with the letter) or by leaving your law firm an online review. Hearing feedback from clients can help you adjust and optimize your client experience. Additionally, positive online reviews can help you land more clients in the future. 
Example of a Closing Letter

To start writing your own law firm closing letter, refer to our example below:

Date

Re: Closing of Legal Representation, {{case #}}

 

Dear {{client}},

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in {{brief description of case/matter}}. 

As of {{date}}, your case {{case #}} has closed and your legal representation has ended. You can expect your final bill from us by {{date}}. 

Enclosed in this letter you will find:

  • (List enclosed documents such as every relevant document, copies of final documents, original legal documents created or received from the client)
  • Feedback questionnaire (if using a paper version, be sure to provide instructions on how to complete and return it)

Please review this information and let us know if you have any questions. {{Firm name}} will retain a copy of these documents for at least five years, per our retention policy. 

While this concludes our legal representation of you, please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further legal assistance or wish to retain our services again. 

It was a pleasure representing you and I hope you enjoyed working together. Please consider filling out and returning the enclosed feedback questionnaire so that I may better represent clients like you in the future. Thank you in advance for your feedback. 

 

All the best,

{{Lawyer}} 

{{Firm name and contact information}}

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