Have my instructions – and my number

Print This Post

By Legal Futures

28 May 2010


Office flirt: relationships with clients are not banned but raise several issues

Q. I am acting for a client in connection with his divorce which is at an early stage of the proceedings. He has now asked me out, but I am not sure whether it would be appropriate to agree. What is the SRA’s position on this?

A. The rules of conduct do not prohibit a solicitor having a relationship with a client per se, but you cannot act if your duty to act in the best interests of the client conflicts with your own interests, or there is a significant risk that they may do so (rule 3.01(2) of the Code).

This could happen, for example, if you were acting in connection with the financial settlement whilst cohabiting or planning to cohabit with the client, since this would be likely to have an indirect impact on your own financial position.

In addition, you need to be able to act both with integrity, and in the best interests of the client (rules 1.02 and 1.04 of the Code). You need to consider carefully, therefore, whether a relationship with the client could impair your ability to give the client independent and impartial advice (see rule 3, guidance notes 47 and 48).



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Be careful you do not leave anything behind: will we see the end of chambers?

Charles Feeny

Experience of practice by digital support suggests that working practices will become much more informal and spontaneous, not requiring support by specific entities or even contractual arrangements. This is likely to be particularly true of the Bar, which is or should be a profession focusing on individuals. The future of the Bar is more likely to resemble a library as seen in Scotland and Ireland – albeit an electronic library – rather than the traditional chambers structure.

January 18th, 2017