What pre-interview client checks should we make?

We offer initial fixed-fee interviews by appointment and can sometimes see people on a walk-in basis. Do we need to make any checks before the interview takes place?

Before the initial interview, you should obtain sufficient information to enable you to carry out a conflict check and to cancel the meeting if there’s a conflict of interest.

You should gather the following information from the potential client:

  • name, address and telephone number
  • field of law involved (for example matrimonial or crime)
  • name of the opponent or others involved in the matter if applicable

You must also check and verify the identity of your client in order to comply with paragraph 8.1 of the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs 2019.

Where you’re carrying out work that falls within the regulated sector, you must also verify the identity of various parties under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.

You may therefore want to ask clients to bring evidence of their identity with them to the initial interview to reduce delays in proceeding with the retainer.

For further information, see our practice note on client information requirements.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

Have you got a practice question?

Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk.

The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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