cover image: Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2022


Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2022

10 Apr 2024

The relevant principles may include the law of contract, the law of fiduciary duty, the law which protects confidential information, the law with respect to legal professional privilege, the law with respect to the solicitor’s duty to the court and the Court's discretion to supervise the conduct of its officers, and ethical principles developed and applied by a professional disciplinary body. [...] The Court held that considering whether there had been a breach of the rule involved inter-related questions about whether the conduct in question was undertaken in pursuit of the legitimate interest of the client, whether the accusations had a reasonable basis and whether the conduct had the potential to undermine the integrity and reputation of the legal profession. [...] Solicitors should be mindful of the distinction between the giving of undertakings to other members of the profession and undertakings given to the Court, in particular the importance of only giving undertakings to the Court on the clear instructions of a client. [...] Commentary Overview A solicitor has a duty to act in the best interests of the client in any matter in which the solicitor represents the client.56 However, a solicitor also has a duty to the court and the administration justice.57 In Rondel v Worsley58 Lord Reid stated the paramountcy of the latter over the former (in the context of counsel appearing) as follows: Every counsel has a duty to his c. [...] (3) Where it is necessary for the purpose of protecting the interests of a person of unsound mind in any legal proceedings or other business, the authority of a legal practitioner, notwithstanding that the practitioner knows of the mental unsoundness of the person on behalf of whom the practitioner is acting, continues for the purpose of completing those proceedings or that business.



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