Lawyers in rural areas

This also may relate to access problems for the client as such in a rural area. Where lawyers will act for two parties whose interests potentially conflict, this is for the benefit of the clients where they may not have access to other lawyers in the surrounding area.

Clause 5(2) relates more specifically to this exception stating that both parties shall be advised by the solicitor at the earliest practicable opportunity that the solicitor has been requested to act and ‘if a dispute arises’, one or both will require to seek independent legal advice.

In Cowie SSDT 26/02/2009 where the lawyer worked for the father and the son in a property transaction. The lawyer had informed consent from the parties however, he asked for the consent too late and thus, this was not the right procedure, resulting in a breach.

In Scotland, we have an independent judiciary to promote the interests of the public and clients which is the key function of the rule of law where no one is above the law. This establishes a social contract theory which is the trust between clients and lawyers and that lawyers know the law which affects every person. Informed consent gives the lawyer the freedom to perform these duties with his best knowledge.