Conflicts of interest 2019

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

  • Conflicts of interest 2019
  • The SRA Standards and Regulations 2019
  • Where to find the requirements on conflicts
  • Who the conflicts requirements apply to
  • Supporting guidance
  • Own interest conflicts
  • The rule
  • Exceptions to the rule
  • Examples of own interest conflicts
  • Rectifying mistakes
  • More...

Conflicts of interest 2019

Conflicts of interest can cause difficult and serious problems for solicitors and law firms, both from a compliance point of view and in your client relationships. If a conflict of interest arises, or there is a risk of one arising in the course of your work, it is imperative to:

  1. have systems and controls in place to enable the conflict to be identified

  2. know whether you can act or continue to act for the client(s) involved

  3. understand the safeguards that may be needed to manage the conflict

The SRA Codes of Conduct (the SRA Code for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs (Code for Solicitors) and the SRA Code for Firms) refer to two types of conflict of interest as shown below:

Type of conflictTerm used by SRABrief description
Own interest conflictOwn interest conflictWhere your duty to act in the best interests of any client conflicts, or may conflict, with your own interests in relation to that matter or a related matter
See below: Own interest conflict
Client conflictConflict of interestWhere 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 (commonly known as a client conflict)
See below: Client conflict

A third category of ‘commercial’ conflicts can arise in practice. These are the sorts of

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