This practice note is the Law Society's view of good practice in this area. It is not legal advice.
Practice notes are issued by the Law Society for the use and benefit of its members. They represent the Law Society's view of good practice in a particular area. They are not intended to be the only standard of good practice that solicitors can follow. You are not required to follow them, but doing so will make it easier to account to oversight bodies for your actions.
Practice notes are not legal advice, nor do they necessarily provide a defence to complaints of misconduct or of inadequate professional service. While care has been taken to ensure that they are accurate, up to date and useful, the Law Society will not accept any legal liability in relation to them.
For queries or comments on this practice note contact the Law Society's Practice Advice Service.
The following sections of the SRA Code are relevant to this issue:
- Chapter 1 on client care
- Chapter 4 on confidentiality and disclosure, and
- Chapter 11 on relations with third parties.
There are ten mandatory principles which apply to all those the SRA regulates and to all aspects of practice. The principles can be found in the SRA Handbook.
The principles apply to solicitors or managers of authorised bodies who are practising from an office outside the UK. They also apply if you are a lawyer-controlled body practising from an office outside the UK.
The principles which are particularly relevant to this issue include:
Principle 2 - You must act with integrity
Personal integrity is central to your role as the client's trusted advisor and should characterise all your professional dealings with clients, the court, other lawyers and the public.
Principle 3 - You must not allow your independence to be compromised
'Independence' means your own and your firm's independence, not just your ability to give independent advice to a client. You should avoid situations which might put your independence at risk.
Principle 6 - You must behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services
Members of the public should be able to place their trust in you. Any behaviour either within or outside your professional practice which undermines this trust damages not only you, but the ability of the legal profession as a whole to serve society.