Conflicts Between Lawyer & Client - General Prohibition and Certain Exceptions

Generally speaking, a lawyer may act as legal advisor or as a business associate to a client, but not both. See the BC Code, Chapter 3, rule 3.4-26.2.

Acting in certain circumstances may trigger Exclusion 6 in the B.C. Lawyers' Compulsory Professional Liability Insurance Policy (as well as similar provisions in other insurance policies), so review your insurance policies to make sure you are not engaging (or about to engage) in activities that may negate your coverage. When in doubt, contact the Lawyers Insurance Fund for guidance.

Subject to permitted exceptions, you must not perform legal services for a client if:

  • you have a direct or indirect financial interest in the subject matter of the legal services; or
  • anyone has a direct or indirect financial interest that would reasonably be expected to affect your professional judgment.

(See BC Code, Chapter 3, rule 3.4-26.1)