Where an attorney and client ends up in a dispute and the mandate is ended without the client paying the attorney for their work done, the attorney can exercise his lien and not hand over the client’s file until his fees are paid. The following documents in the attorney’s file for a particular client belongs to the attorney   I. Letters addressed to the attorney by the client. II. Copies of letters that the attorney wrote to the client. III. Notes the attorney made in a file for own use and for which the attorney does not charge the client eg. office memoranda, diary entries, notes of consultations and attendances, accounting records.   All other documents belong to either the client or to third parties. Seeing as the attorney is a creditor of a client until the attorney’s fees have been paid in full, the attorney only has a lien over the documents he/she created. The documents include any document that the attorney drafted or any other document that the attorney used to perform his/her duties. If a document is irrelevant and it belongs to the client or a third party, the attorneys do not have a lien over the document and must return the document to the client, even if his/her account was not paid.  Once the attorney’s account is settled in full, the lien ends and the attorney must hand over the file to the client, but the attorney is entitled to make copies of the documents that were subject to the lien, AND the attorney may charge the client for those copies.   As soon as an attorney’s mandate has ended, he/she must file a notice of withdrawal on the file at Court even though the attorney’s fees have not yet been paid.