Rule B2.1: Conflict of Interest

2.1.1 In this rule 2.1, unless the context otherwise requires, terms listed in the first column of rule 2.1.1 shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in the second column of that rule:




includes prospective client


parties are connected if at least one of them is a body corporate and one is controlled by the other or both are controlled by the same third person;

established client

a person for whom you have or your practice unit has acted on at least one previous occasion

employed regulated person

a regulated person employed by his employer for the purpose, wholly or partly, of offering legal services to the public whether or not for a fee

practice unit

as defined in Schedule 1 but including, for the purposes of this rule 2, any office at which that practice unit carries on practice and any practice unit in which that practice unit has a direct interest through one or more of its managers


includes a contract and any negotiations leading thereto


2.1.2 You shall not act for two or more parties whose interests conflict.

2.1.3 Without prejudice to the generality of rule 2.1.2, where you are an employed regulated person and your only or principal employer is one of the parties to a transaction you shall not act for any other party to that transaction; provided always that you may, where no dispute arises or appears likely to arise between the parties to that transaction, act for more than one party thereto, if and only if:

(a) the parties are associated companies, public authorities, public bodies, or government departments or agencies; or

(b) the parties are connected.

2.1.4 Without prejudice to the generality of rule 2.1.2, a regulated person, or two or more regulated persons practising either as manager or employee in the same practice unit or in the employment of the same employer shall not, at any stage, act for both seller and purchaser in the sale or purchase or conveyance of heritable property, or for both landlord and tenant, or assignor and assignee in a lease of heritable property for value or for lender and borrower in a loan to be secured over heritable property; provided, however, that where no dispute arises or might reasonably be expected to arise between the parties and that, other than in the case of exception (a) hereto, the seller or landlord of residential property is not a builder or developer, this rule shall not apply if:

(a) the parties are associated companies, public authorities, public bodies, or government departments or agencies;

(b) the parties are connected;

(c) the parties are related by blood, adoption or marriage or civil partnership, one to the other, or the purchaser, tenant, assignee or borrower is so related to an established client; or

(d) both parties are established clients or the prospective purchaser, tenant, assignee or borrower is an established client; or

(e) there is no other regulated person in the vicinity whom the client could reasonably be expected to consult; or

(f) in the case of a loan to be secured over heritable property, the terms of the loan have been agreed between the parties before the regulated person has been instructed to act for the lender, and the granting of the security is only to give effect to such agreement.

2.1.5 In all cases falling within exceptions detailed at paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of rule 2.1.4 both parties shall be advised by the regulated person at the earliest practicable opportunity that the regulated person, or his practice unit, has been requested to act for both parties, and that if a dispute arises, they or one of them will require to consult an independent regulated person, which advice shall be confirmed by the regulated person in writing as soon as may be practicable thereafter.

2.1.6 Unless the contrary be proved, for the purposes of rules 2.1.3 and 2.1.4, you shall be presumed to be acting for a party for whom you prepare an offer, whether complete or not, in connection with a transaction of any kind specified in this rule 2.1, for execution by that party.

2.1.7 When you are acting on behalf of a party or prospective party to a transaction of any kind you shall not issue any deed, writ, missive or other document requiring the signature of an unrepresented party to that party without informing that party in writing that:

(a) such signature may have certain legal consequences, and

(b) he should seek independent legal advice before signature.

2.1.8 Where a practice unit knowingly intends to act on behalf of two or more prospective purchasers or tenants (other than prospective joint purchasers or tenants) of heritable property (in this rule 2.1.8 referred to as "the clients"), the clients shall be informed of such intention, and a single natural person shall not, where he has given any advice to one of the clients with respect to the price or rent to be offered, or with respect to any other material condition of the prospective bargain, give advice to another of the clients in respect of such matters.

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