Guidance related to Rule B1.14: Defenders Contacting Pursuers' Agents Direct

It has come to the attention of the Professional Practice Committee that there is an increasing tendency for Defenders to telephone Pursuers' agents direct to discuss active cases.

To date the problem has arisen mainly in relation to repossession litigation situations, but also where Defenders telephone firms that are either acting for inhibiting creditors or in relation to Mortgage to Rent cases.

The essential problem in many of the cases is that the Defenders are already represented by solicitors and this is known to the Pursuers' agents. Indeed in some of the cases the Defenders' solicitors have actually (according to the Defenders) encouraged the Defender clients to telephone the Pursuers' solicitors.

It is clearly unprofessional for a Defender's solicitor to encourage his client to telephone the solicitor on the other side, as this puts undue pressure on the Pursuer's solicitor to act in a manner contrary to his duty under rule B1.14 which sets out the very limited circumstances where a solicitor may communicate with a person known or believed to be the client of another solicitor.

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