Law Society approves changes to conflict rules

The Law Society Standards Board this week approved two of the proposed amendments to the Conflicts and Confidentiality paper recently withdrawn from Council.

A third amendment, relating to a solicitor’s duty to disclose, was not passed. Led by chair Andrew Holroyd, the board rejected a suggestion that duty to disclose could be implied as well as explicit.

The approved amendments clarified two points: that although an individual solicitor has a duty to disclose information to a client, this does not preclude a partner in the same firm from advising the client; and that the principles of the 1998 Prince Jefri case should be part of the confidentiality rules.

It is hoped that the Law Society Council will finally approve the paper when it meets in July. The paper was withdrawn two weeks ago following issues raised by firms including Slaughter and May.