Examples of how British lawyers (barristers and solicitors) open and close letters
Dear Mr Smythe,
Re: Increase in share capital (may be in bold type, may include or omit “Re:”)
You are a new client or someone with whom I am not on a first-name basis.
Yours faithfully, (or) Yours sincerely,
Re: Increase in share capital
We have an established working relationship.
Examples of how American lawyers open and close letters
Re: Increase in share capital (may be in bold type)
Dear Mr. Dryden:
I have never met you, we have had insufficient contact for me to be comfortable using your first name, or we have a rather adversarial relationship.
Yours truly, (or) Yours sincerely, (or) Sincerely,
You are an established client or an attorney with whom I have had dealings before.
Sincerely yours, (or) Sincerely,
DIFFERENCES TO NOTE
- British usually write abbreviated titles, initials, dates, addresses, salutations and closings without punctuation. e.g. commas may be omitted after the salutation and closing.
- In the British forms, the salutation and closing must correspond. “Yours faithfully” usually used when salutation is “Dear Sir(s)” or “Dear Madam”
- Position of the “Re:” line in British forms.