Acting for Two or More Clients

According to the BC Code, Chapter 3, rules 3.4-5 to 3.4-7 you may jointly represent multiple clients provided, at the commencement of the retainer, you:

  1. Explain to each client the principle of undivided loyalty;
  2. Inform clients that no information you receive from any of them as part of the joint representation can be treated as confidential as between the clients;
  3. Receive from each client their fully informed consent to one of two courses of action in a situation where you receive from one client, in your separate representation of that client, information relevant to the joint representation. Either:
  • you must not disclose the information to the other jointly represented clients and must withdraw from the joint representation; or
  • you must disclose the information to all other jointly represented clients and may continue to act for them jointly; and
  1. Secure the informed consent of each client (with independent legal advice, if necessary) as to the course of action that will be followed if a conflict arises between them.

Community Discussion

Your comments cannot be edited after posting.

I have known lawyers whose retainer agreements, in the case of a long-term client and a new client retaining them jointly, have said that in case 3 they will "withdraw from the joint represerntation" and continue to act for the former but not the latter.  This has always troubled me.