The argument is obviously not valid if the transaction is one which is required by law to be in writing such as a transfer of land.This is not an agreement that could have been made orally.Because even putting “as of” a certain date will not protect the lawyer from implication in a criminal act if the purpose of the backdating is actually to defraud or mislead the taxman, any regulatory authority or even any other individual and the lawyer knew or should have known that this was the case.So as can be seen, the issue of backdating can be a contentious one.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?
For example, if a seller had sold his house in December then the seller could have taken advantage of certain tax benefits.
Is it legal to comply with the request or must it always be refused outright?
Alternatively, is there a way of legally trying to achieve the required objective?
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.