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Conflict of interest/breach of SRA code

  • u6c00
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16 Aug 12 #349917 by u6c00
Topic started by u6c00
Hi everyone, I''m wondering if you could help me.

My ex told some lies under oath. She was represented by a barrister, her solicitor was not present.

Some of the lies that she told can be proven as lies. In fact her solicitor has evidence from their files from a case I was involved in 3 years ago.

What position does this place the solicitor in? The number one obligation on the SRA code of conduct is to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice.

Surely having evidence that your client has lied under oath places you at odds with that?

It''s mostly hypothetical at the moment but as I know what information is in the file from 2009 (because I was involved with the proceedings), and I know what was said in court this year do I bring her solicitor''s attention to it?

I''ve raised a conflict of interest issue before because I was involved in the proceedings in 2009 and the same solicitor is now representing my ex against me. It makes me quite uncomfortable but her solicitor says that there is no conflict because although I was involved with the proceedings I wasn''t a party to them. I attended every meeting with the solicitor at the time though.

  • soulruler
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16 Aug 12 #349932 by soulruler
Reply from soulruler
If you accompany someone to a solicitors whilst they are involved in legal proceedings but you are not then you are a third party - you have knowledge but it is not your case.

Third parties have obligations in law in not a disimilar way that a claiment or defendent does.

Third parties include institutions that you as a litigant may have a contract with - so for example if a claiment makes an application to court to freeze your bank account or to make you bankrupt or to gain a financial injunction the bank or institution that holds the account with you becomes a third party - garnishee orders are now known as Third Party Debt Orders which makes things much clearer to the general public.

Third parties have obligations. Banks have obligations when they receive a third party order from the court to comply with the terms of the order.

Solicitors do have obligations in law to stop representing their client under their code of conduct if they see that the client is perjuring themself - Yes but don''t hold your breath on that as they take no notice at present.

As far as getting anywhere reporting to the SRA I think its a waste of time as I tried about 4 times during the course of my protracted proceedings - don''t let me put you off.

Solicitors also need to take into account undue influence if they believe that a client of theirs is being unduely influenced by a third party accompanying them.

Unless you think that you were unduely influencing your wife at the time you accompanied her regarding the original claim I think they are right on the subject of undue influence.

However, if they continue to allow your wife to make representations to court which they know from their existing files are false then they are supporting her purjury and that is against their code in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007 (which covers professional negligence and Fraud).

Perjury is a criminal act and therefore it is possible that you they are fraudulent under that act.

If you are proven right (good luck as this is what I am attempting right now) they are attempting to pervert the course of justice.

On a different tack I don''t know whether you followed the case of a solicitor who went out drink driving, ran away from the scene to avoid arest, then concocted a huge web of lies about how he had been kidnapped, got the police involved in a huge enquiry, got found out and then was tried and found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

My view, he was very shame faced, and how stupid in this modern age to believe just because he was in a position of trust and power that he was immune from prosecution for his crimes.

  • u6c00
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16 Aug 12 #349938 by u6c00
Reply from u6c00
Thanks, that information is helpful. I would be utterly unable to prove anything because of course all Family Law proceedings are private.

Basically back in 2009 I wanted to move house with my (then) pregnant partner and her son. Her ex husband opposed the move and issued a PSO against my then partner, shortly followed by a residence application.

I went to all the meetings, my income was used to calculate legal aid and reference was made to my circumstances in statements but I was neither applicant nor respondent, therefore I was not a party and the solicitor didn''t represent me. I was present at the drafting of the final order and gave my input on the wording of it, but didn''t attend court when it was ordered.

Skip forward 3 years and ex is using the same solicitor. Makes me quite uncomfortable though if I''m honest I''m not sure why. I guess really I don''t know whether there is anything that I would stand to gain by asking the solicitor to recuse herself, and perhaps it really is a case of ''better the devil you know'' but it just feels wrong having her represent my opponent, especially as I am currently LIP.

As for the perjury issue, I am tempted to write to her solicitor so that I have written correspondence that I don''t accept her evidence and believe it to be lies. If her solicitor chooses to recuse herself as a result then perhaps it serves as something of a smoking gun?

  • soulruler
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16 Aug 12 #349945 by soulruler
Reply from soulruler
I think that you were party to those proceedings as you were asked to submit evidence - they weren''t private to you and you weren''t a non party as non parties are people or institutions that do not know anything about the proceedings, refuse to attend on the basis as they have no legal involvement and also non parties are anyone with a legal qualification who practices strictly in accordance with the law.

I understand that licenced insolvency practitioners (who are trustees) and licenced bankruptcy practitioners (who are trustees) must always act as non parties - that is to say that they must make sure that they make all the checks necessary to make sure that the court has not strayed from its powers and jurisdiction to make sure that innocent parties are not prejudiced because of a court order.

That said, you need to weigh up in your own mind the financial and emotional cost of any dispute you might get yourself into.

Also bear in mind that solicitors are generally ruthless and somewhat arrogant (let me get my tin hat - I am not talking about the good ones both on wiki and other places that really care about their jobs).

What ever you do, do not say lie - that is a red rag to a bull.

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