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Serving Two Masters : Conflicts of Interest in the Modern Law Firm - Janine Griffiths-Baker

Serving Two Masters

Conflicts of Interest in the Modern Law Firm

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It is a sine qua non of legal practice that lawyers should not allow themselves to act for two clients whose interests may, potentially, conflict. However, this principle is being placed under increasing pressure, the main reasons for this being increased demand for specialist legal services, the globalisation of commerce, a dramatic growth in the size of leading law firms, and significantly greater mobility within the legal profession. As a result, there is a growing trend, especially within the commercial legal environment, for solicitors to face conflicts of interest which have no easy solution. Increasingly, conflicts are being 'managed', rather than avoided altogether. This is a field within which the Law Society's own rules are flouted on a daily basis, and in which these rules appear increasingly at odds with the common law. Based on extensive interviews with lawyers and their clients, this book provides the first thorough consideration of how conflicts of interest are handled within law firms. It will be essential reading to all those who have an interest in professional legal ethics, including law students, legal scholars, practitioners, and regulators.

This is a timely work, which should do much to inform the debate within the profession as to the applicability of the law, and the profession's own rules, to the linked issues of client confidentiality and conflict of interest in the modern legal world. Simon Young, LawGroup UK New Law Journal May 2003

Table of Casesp. xi
Introductionp. 1
A Changing Professionp. 3
The regulatory regimep. 8
Regulating Conflicts of Interestp. 10
The need for an empirical studyp. 12
Research Methodp. 13
Other Components of the Researchp. 15
Plan of the Bookp. 16
The Regulatory Regimep. 17
Introductionp. 17
Successive Representationp. 18
Simultaneous Representationp. 43
Summaryp. 49
The Modern Fiduciary: Conflicts in other Professionsp. 51
Introductionp. 51
Conflicts at the Bar: Approach of the Bar Council of England and Walesp. 55
Accountancy Conflicts: A 'Managed' Approachp. 63
Fiduciary Duties and Regulatory Rules: the Law Commission's Findingsp. 69
Summaryp. 72
Conflicts of Interest: An International Perspectivep. 75
Introductionp. 75
United Statesp. 77
The Commonwealthp. 81
Europep. 90
Summaryp. 92
Discovering Conflicts: Procedures and Dilemmasp. 95
Introductionp. 95
Obtaining Instructions and the conflict checkp. 97
The Frustrated Clientp. 102
Ensuring Confidentiality for Would-be Clientsp. 103
Protecting Clients' Identities From Colleaguesp. 105
Evaluating the Datap. 106
Summaryp. 106
The Decision Whether to Act: Procedures and Interestsp. 109
Introductionp. 109
Classifying conflictp. 114
Competing Interestsp. 116
Law Society Guidancep. 116
Clients' Views on Conflictsp. 119
The Decision-Makerp. 120
A Clear Dividep. 122
The Big and Boldp. 123
The Mindful Moderatesp. 131
The Pious Provincialsp. 135
Summaryp. 140
Acting in the Face of Conflictp. 143
Introductionp. 143
The Available Optionsp. 144
Selecting the Measures (in Theory)p. 146
Selecting the Measures (in Practice)p. 148
The Client Perspectivep. 158
Summaryp. 160
Conclusionp. 163
Introductionp. 163
Law Society Rules and Legal Principles: The Debatep. 163
The Empirical Evidencep. 173
Possible Ways Forwardp. 178
Summaryp. 186
The Wider Context: Legal Ethics Within a Changing Professionp. 189
Methodologyp. 191
Bibliographyp. 201
Indexp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781841132297
ISBN-10: 1841132292
Series: OƱati International Series in Law and Society
Audience: BAC
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 27th November 2002
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.5
Edition Number: 1