Backdating employment contract
However, even if it is an agreement that could have been made orally the lawyer preparing the agreement has no way of knowing whether that is actually the case and that the agreement to be fully documented by him is the one that was reached at the earlier date.He also has no way of knowing whether the backdating will be scrutinized by a regulatory authority or even a Court.However, he only realizes this in January and so wishes to backdate the document to December.The event did not happen during the time period required for the benefit so an attempt is being made to pretend that it did.However, an explanation often given by the person wanting to backdate the document is that the document is merely meant to reflect an oral agreement that has already been made and that this is just a way of documenting it.
Therefore, if in doubt it is best to say “no” or to take external legal advice if appropriate.
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.
There are some ways in which the lawyer can give himself some protection in agreeing to such a request but they are not foolproof.
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?
Is there an obligation on the lawyer to make at least reasonable endeavour’s to confirm that he is being told the truth?
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However, the actual date of signature should nevertheless be set out in the attestation clause at the end to avoid any claims that the document was intentionally misleading.