Operating a Conflicts System - What Happens When a Conflict Arises? continued
In order for your client to waive a conflict, their consent must be informed. You need to explain the conflict fully and in clear language, including setting out what the potential consequences of the conflict are. Consider:
- describing the scope of the matter and how the conflict relates to it;
- breaking down the conflict by isolating the parties/events that give rise to the conflict, or might in the future and what the practical and legal implications are; and
- setting out what the pros and cons are of your continued representation.
You must take all the required steps as detailed in the BC Code.
It is preferable to send the client to receive independent legal advice; be certain to document this procedure.
You might come across a situation where you just don’t know whether the degree of relation between your client and another person is a problem. One thing you can do in these circumstances is to inform your client of the borderline concern, and ascertain whether they are concerned about the relationship. Document your client’s instructions arising from such a meeting.
In some situations, even if the client does consent to your continuing to act, you may foresee the conflict will only deepen over time, in which case you should seriously consider withdrawing.