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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11739
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Is their a conflict of interest in a lawyer and his firm representing

Resolved Question:

Is their a conflict of interest in a lawyer and his firm representing a defendant in Plaintiff X v Defendant A (Case 1) and simultaneously representing a separate defendant in a Plaintiff X v Defendant B (Case 2), when:
- Case 1 and 2 arise from the same property development dispute;
- When Defendant B is a material witness to Case 1,
- When Defendants B's evidence compromises Case 1, and vice versa
- And the objective of both Defendant B and Defendant A is to beat Plaintiff X
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
No, it is quite common for the same solicitor to represent parties in different actions against the same opponent. Often it is better from an evidence gathering point of view to share information.
If any actual conflict were to arise during the proceedings then the solicitor would withdraw but from your narrative there is no obvious conflict at this time.
Happy to discuss further.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your answer, which is what I thought.

However, I meant to add one further qualification:

- and when the same lawyer and law firm now acting for Defendant B and the Development Company (as co defendant) in Case 2, has previously acted for the Development Company when Plaintiff X and Defendant B were both directors and gave instructions to the same law firm.

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Presumably the law firm was acting for the company and took instructions from those directors who were representing the company. As long as the company didn't act for X as an individual there should be no conflict.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, I won't drag this out much longer. Just want to be clear...

What if X was not yet a director of the Development Company, and had signed the Law Firms terms as an individual and was giving instructions to the Law Firm in respect of the Development Company because he had an ongoing and future interest in the success of the Development Company

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Then the solicitor wasn't acting for the individual in real terms but for the development company. You have to ask what prejudice is there to the party claiming conflict? Is there any?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks.

The prejudice is that Defendant A and Defendant B are now working together and sharing evidence with the same Lawyer and Law Firm in order to stuff Plaintiff X. Also, as evidence is disclosed in Case 1, it has included evidence in relation to Case 2 which Plaintiff X did not need or wish to disclose at that time. The arrangements are creating an unfair advantage.

To conclude the question, what is your thoughts on this prejudice?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
There's nothing to stop two defendants working together on cases against a plaintiff. And if the solicitors never acted for the plaintiff as an individual then all information would have come through their acting for the company.
There is no obvious prejudice arising from a conflict situation as I don't think there is a conflict.
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