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conflict of interest?

  • misty13
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20 Aug 11 #283772 by misty13
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Hi, Seventeen months ago a friend took legal advice over separating from her partner of 12years. They have a 18month old daughter and as a result she tried to continue living with him. She has recently found out that he has been having affairs and advertised himself on dating websites. She has now decided to move on and separate from him however he has turned nasty and blames her for the relationship breakdown. She has just found out that he has been to a solicitor, which she has established was the same one she saw and told of her personal circumstances and financial position some 17 months previous. Being concerned I spoke to this solicitor who did recognise her but said it wasnt a conflict of interest as she couldnt remember the conversation and had destroyed her notes. Is this correct and ethical please? for info she has just made an appointment with an alternative solicitor.

  • dukey
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20 Aug 11 #283774 by dukey
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Your friend took advice from the solicitor but did not instruct the solicitor so there is no conflict of interest.

  • .Charles
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21 Aug 11 #283865 by .Charles
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The solicitor would/should have completed a conflict check when each party attended for advice. The second instruction would have shown a conflict.

To be on the safe side the solicitor should ask both parties if it acceptable to act in light of the conflict and decline to act if one of both of the parties objects.

Charles

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21 Aug 11 #283874 by misty13
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Thanks guys,

But still seems some confusion.

Charles what you say is what i feel is more appropriate and ethical do you think she would have a case to use this and object to him using this solicitor. Is this better to come from her solicitor or, to save costs, can she do it herself by sending a letter to his solicitor?

Thanks

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21 Aug 11 #283879 by dukey
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Charles is the best man to answer.

For now as i understand it there is a difference between asking a solicitor for advice and instructing a solicitor to work for you.

A solicitor cannot work for two people who are married, so the question is can a solicitor advise one spouse without being instructed but then later accept instruction from the other spouse, as far as i know the practice can.

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