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Lawyer refused to represent without giving reason

(18 Posts)
QuestionAboutStuff Mon 03-Dec-12 22:18:12

A friend approached a lawyer and asked them to represent them in a divorce. They outlined their situation to the lawyer and the lawyer refused to represent them or give them a reason. What would be the possible or most likely reason for that?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 03-Dec-12 22:20:03

They've already been approached by the other party - conflict of interest.

MoreBeta Mon 03-Dec-12 22:21:40

Conflict of interest or the lawyer does not think they will make any money out of the case.

Lawyers are in business - not a social service.

difficultpickle Mon 03-Dec-12 22:28:00

I would be surprised if it is a conflict of interest as that's a pretty standard reason abd the lawyer would have said that. More likely to be financial or personal - ie didn't feel they could do their best for your friend for whatever reason.

QuestionAboutStuff Mon 03-Dec-12 22:31:26

I would be surprised if it is a conflict of interest as that's a pretty standard reason abd the lawyer would have said that.
Wouldn't that then be betraying the other party's confidentially if they did not want it known that they had sought legal advice?

difficultpickle Mon 03-Dec-12 22:33:49

Good point. I'm used to the commercial world of litigation!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 03-Dec-12 22:36:39

Did they do a conflict check before the even met her?
But yes conflict of interest is most likely.

Collaborate Mon 03-Dec-12 22:51:29

When speaking to a new client on the phone before they come in I always do a conflict check. Doing divorce, and as my firm has a big local presence, conflicts are often thrown up. It doesn't always mean we are acting for spouse in the same case though. If we have acted for them in the past in say a criminal case, or a property transaction, will or personal injury claim we would have confidential information that might be relevant to the case, and to tell the prospective client that we've acted for other side in the past would be a breach of confidentiality. I always mention when asking for other party's details why I'm asking for it, so it should be pretty obvious.

mumblechum1 Tue 04-Dec-12 08:29:48

What Collaborate says.

But I've very occasionally not taken someone on because I just didn't like them and didn't want to act for them.

Obv. I didn't tell them, just said my workload was too heavy for me to give them the attention they needed.

mumblechum1 Tue 04-Dec-12 08:30:19

YY we always did a conflict check first, as I worked in a smallish town.

MOSagain Wed 05-Dec-12 15:28:21

Agree probably conflict of interest

ChocHobNob Wed 05-Dec-12 18:14:30

Hope it's ok to ask another question as it seems the OP's query has been resolved (as much as it can be) but can someone ring a solicitor and ask them directly if they are representing someone? For example an ex partner ring up and say "Are you representing Mr X?"

Collaborate Wed 05-Dec-12 21:05:02

They don't have to answer you. Anyway, they'd need to know who you are and why you want to know.

Dawnporker Fri 07-Dec-12 15:21:55

More fundamentally Solicitors don't have to business with anyone they don't want to. I've shooed people out of the door after a 1st meeting on the basis that I reckoned they'd be a non paying nightmare.

mumblechum1 Fri 07-Dec-12 16:31:27

grin Dawnporker. It's always hard to think of a good reason, though. You can't really tell them it's because they were doing your head in after ten minutes.

Collaborate Fri 07-Dec-12 17:02:30

One benefit of the piss poor legal aid rates is that I can tell my clients that getting paid £86 to do a divorce means I can demand their cooperation or they get lost.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 07-Dec-12 17:05:20

I have refused to act for a client where money laundering was suspected. You can't give a reason there as it counts as tipping off, so I just had to say sorry I can't act for you. Is your friend likely to have aquired assets non legally?

Delalakis Sat 08-Dec-12 11:16:12

I tend to say no to potential clients either because I don't want to do the case or I just don't have time. What puzzles me is the ones who then get quite aggressive about it. Why would you want a solicitor who is unwilling to do your case or who hasn't go time to deal with it properly? And what confidence would you have in a solicitor who has had to be bullied into accepting you as a client?

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