Conflict of interest checks
Conflict of interest checks

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conflict of interest checks
  • Conflict of interest check
  • Client conflict
  • Conflicts between the solicitor and the client (own interest conflicts)
  • Checking for a conflict of interest
  • When to check
  • Former clients

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) handbook sets out ten mandatory Principles which define the fundamental ethical and professional standards expected of all firms.

The SRA Code of Conduct 2011 (the Code) sets out the SRA's outcomes-focused conduct requirements. These are the mandatory outcomes that must be achieved in order to comply with the SRA Principles. The Code also sets out indicative behaviours which are non-mandatory examples of the kind of behaviours which may establish whether the relevant outcomes have been achieved and compliance with the SRA Principles.

The Law Society has produced a practice note on conflict of interests.

Conflict of interest check

It is a requirement to have in place effective systems and controls to enable the identification and assessment of potential conflicts of interests.

Conflict of interest can arise between:

  1. two or more current clients (client conflict), and

  2. the solicitor and current clients (own interest conflicts)

The solicitor must not act if there is an own interest conflict or a significant risk of an own interest conflict.

The solicitor must not act if there is a client conflict, or a significant risk of a client conflict, unless the limited circumstances set out in the Code apply.

Client conflict

This arises when the solicitor or their practice owes separate duties to act in the best interests of two or more clients in