Transactions and Summaries

In business, and in other fields of activity, there may be documents which provide a high level financial or statistical summary (perhaps yearly or quarterly) based on a large number of individual transactions or other events or items. Examples include annual accounts which may be produced each year and provide a summary of the individual financial transactions such as purchase orders, payments, invoices and receipts.

Other examples might include a summary of the number of days particular rooms or suites in a hotel are booked (in a case involving a claim for loss of business due to poor workmanship in fitting out rooms), or a summary of the number of days production lost due to failures in manufacturing plant.

Whether, when seeking legal advice, you need to provide copies of individual transactions, or just provide the high level summary documents, depends on whether particular transactions or groups of transactions are relevant or whether it is just the overall position which is relevant.

For example, if you are in business, then, depending on precisely what the legal matter you want advice on is, it may be that your business accounts, showing the overall position of the business, are relevant. Typically there will be:

1. Annual accounts prepared by you or your accountant

2. A record of every transaction for the year entered on a spreadsheet, or accounting package.

3. Electronic documents for individual transactions – e.g. PDF copies of invoices and credit notes, sent and received

4. Paper documents for individual transactions – e.g. cheque stubs, invoices and credit notes sent and received, bank statements and credit card statements, etc – perhaps in bundles held together by treasury tags.

Often the question is raised as to whether 3 and 4 need to be scanned/copied and provided to me (particularly 4 since the documents may not feed easily into a sheet feeder to be scanned). Generally speaking, if you are sure that everything in 3 and 4 is fully reflected in 1 and 2 – for example if a professional accountant has prepared 1, and you have personally kept the record in 2 and are sure it is right and that there is nothing unusual or controversial in 3 and 4, and providing it is just the overall business position which is relevant to the case (rather than a specific transaction) then you could decide, to save your time in scanning in, only to send me 1 and 2.

On the other hand if there are certain transactions in particular which you require advice about then you will want to scan in the individual documents for those transactions.


This information page is designed to be used only by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services. The information in it is necessarily of a general nature and is intended to be used only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. This information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else. 

This page was lasted updated in November 2016          Disclaimer