Operating a Conflicts System - What Happens When a Conflict Arises?

When a conflict arises, your actions will depend on what stage you have reached in the matter. If the conflict is identified at the initial search stage, you need to analyze the conflict to determine if it is such that you must not act. If you must not act, you should decline to take the case and provide a non-engagement letter. If you may act, you must comply with the provisions of the BC Code that apply to the type of conflict you are confronted with.

If you already represent the client, you should promptly contact the client in writing and inform them that a potential conflict exists. In situations with more than one client, both must be contacted. What happens next depends, to a certain extent, on the clients. If the clients affected by the conflict give you permission to continue to act, then you may choose to do so. Ensure that these permissions are in writing and keep them on file. If you do not obtain permission to act, you must disqualify yourself from representing the client in that matter unless you fit within an exempt circumstance as detailed in the BC Code, Chapter 3, rules 3.4-7 and 3.4-8.