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Facing pressure from clients

A conflict can easily arise when acting for both parties who reach an amicable agreement on separation, but solicitors must think ethically, says Mena Ruparel

17 July 2019

It is not unusual for solicitors to face extreme pressure from existing or prospective clients to act in a way that may serve their best interests, but could be contrary to the ethical principles by which we must practice.

Very recently, I read a blog by a family solicitor in which he described the pressure he is put under from prospective divorcing couples who only want to engage one solicitor.

This can, of course, raise the issue of actual or potential conflict of interests. Although separating couples can untangle their lives amicably, the solicitor’s role is to act in their client’s best interests. In any situation where a solicitor has multiple clients, there is the real prospect of a conflict arising.

Clients struggle to understand why their apparently amicable agreement might be subject to future problems – suspecting the lawyers of wanting to make money out of them rather than to act in their best interests. They don’t understand why...

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