Solicitors make public comments both on their own behalf and on behalf of their clients. Solicitors should be aware that when making any public comments it is possible that their status as a solicitor will be associated with their comments.

In making a public comment concerning a client's affairs, you must (1) have your client's authority to do so; (2) be satisfied that any comment is in the client's best interests; (3) be satisfied that any comment is not contrary to the interests of justice; (4) ensure it is based upon an accurate appreciation of the facts and is not misleading; and (5) in relation to a case which has been decided in court, make clear whether the views expressed are those of the client or your views, or both.

You should not in any event permit your personal/commercial interests or those of other causes to conflict with the client's interests or with the interests of justice.

In terms of (1) client’s authority above listed, you should, before preparing or making any comment, consider not only your client’s wishes but the circumstances in which they are expressed, e.g. at the end of a dramatic or difficult case a client may be emotional or upset, and not be in a calm or considered state of mind nor really ready to decide what if anything should be said on their behalf either immediately or later. Indeed, the fact that the media are interested in the case or the outcome does not inevitably mean that it is in the client’s interests or the interests of justice to make any comment. Also, the client should not be persuaded by the solicitor into such an instruction if any part of the motivation is establishing or enhancing the fame or reputation of the solicitor.

In making a comment via the press, via social media or in public you should remember that as soon as any comment is released, it is in the public domain with no likelihood of retrieving or deleting it. Control is lost permanently, and there may be professional consequences if the comments are deemed to bring the profession into disrepute.