Client conflicts in conveyancing or property matters—when can you act?
Client conflicts in conveyancing or property matters—when can you act?

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Client conflicts in conveyancing or property matters—when can you act?
  • What is a client conflict of interest?
  • When might a conflict arise?
  • Related matters
  • Indirect conflicts
  • Can you act if there is a conflict?
  • General position
  • Substantially common interest
  • Competing for the same objective
  • Conditions to acting under the exceptions
  • More...

There are two types of conflict: own interest conflicts (sometimes called solicitor-client conflicts) and client conflicts of interest. This Practice Note explains when you can act if there is or may be a client conflict of interests between two or more clients in a conveyancing or property matter. For the wider regulatory requirements on conflicts of interest, see Practice Notes: Conflicts of interest 2019 and Conflicts of interest—systems and controls 2019.

What is a client conflict of interest?

A client conflict of interest arises where your separate duties to act in the best interests of two or more clients conflict in relation to the same matter or a related matter. The SRA simply calls this type of conflict a ‘conflict of interest’.

You must not act in relation to a matter or particular aspect of it if you have a client conflict of interest or a significant risk of such a conflict in relation to that matter or aspect of it, unless you fall within one of two exceptions and meet certain specific conditions.

Client conflicts are fact sensitive. It is for you to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a conflict has occurred or may occur, and if so whether you can act. There is no definitive list.

When might a conflict arise?

It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of client conflicts and the SRA does

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