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Exercising Liens

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members to identify circumstances when it may be appropriate to exercise a lien in respect of a client’s documents.

Issued: December 2012
Reviewed: January 2020

There are two types of lien - a general lien and a particular lien. Case law has determined that accountants are only entitled to exercise a ‘particular lien’. In the context of this helpsheet, ‘lien’ is referring to a particular lien which is the right of the accountant to hold onto the client’s property until the client pays the fees owed to the accountant for the work carried out in respect of that property.