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1. Acting for Buyer & Seller or landlord & tenant a. Principle 4 - Act in the best interest of the client b. Is there a conflict of interest?
b.i. Outcome 3.5 cannot act if there is a client conflict or a significant risk of a client conflict b.i.1. Chapter 14 client conflict = any situation where you owe separate duties to act in the best interests of two or more client in relation to the same or related matters & those duties conflict, or there is a significant risk that those duties may conflict b.ii. EXCEPT if outcomes 3.6 or 3.7 applies b.ii.1. Outcome 3.6 - do buyer & seller have a substantially common interest?
b.ii.1.a. Chapter 14 a clear common person in relation to a matter or a particular aspect of it between the clients & a strong consensus on how it is to be achieved & the client conflict is peripheral to this common purpose b.ii.1.a.i. IB 3.11 Outcome 3.6 does not apply in a situation with buyer &
seller b.ii.1.a.ii. IB 3.4 Decline to act where clients cannot be represented evenhandedly, or will be prejudiced by lack of separate representation b.ii.2. Outcome 3.7 - are clients competing for the same objective?
b.ii.2.a. IB 3.14 Where there is a transfer of value clients will not be competing for the same objective b.ii.2.b. IB 3.4 Decline to act where clients cannot be represented evenhandedly, or will be prejudiced by lack of separate representation b.ii.2.c. IB 3.6 only act where the clients are sophisticated users of legal services c. Outcome 3.3 consider factors such as whether there is a need to negotiate between the clients, where there is an imbalance in bargaining power between the clients or whether one of the clients is vulnerable c.i. IB 3.3 decline to act where you may need to negotiate on matters of substance on their behalf, such as negotiating on price between a buyer & seller of property c.ii. IB 3.4 decline to act where there is unequal bargaining power between the clients, such as acting for a seller & buyer where builder is selling to a non-commercial client d. If do act then ensure that able to abide with rules of confidentiality & follow safeguards. d.i. Consider the impact of having to withdraw if circumstances change
2. Acting for Joint Buyers a. Permitted provided there is no conflict of interest or no conflict is likely to arise between parties
3. Acting for Joint Borrowers a. Provided no conflict of interest exists or likely to exit then can act b. Problems of undue influence can arise b.i. If special relationship (parent & child; solicitor & client; NOT husband & wife) there is a rebuttable presumption that there has been undue influence b.i.1. Husband & wife no presumption but lender put on enquiry as such transaction not to spouse's advantage b.i.1.a. Bank take reasonable steps to come off notice, satisfying itself that practical implications of proposed transaction understood by spouse b.i.2. Royal Bank of Scotland & Eldridge b.i.2.a. Solicitor meet spouse face to face, without other spouse & explain purpose for which solicitor has become involved b.i.2.b. Explain that lender will rely on solicitor's involvement to counter any suggestion that spouse has been unduly influenced b.i.2.c. Obtain confirmation from spouse that they wish solicitor to act for them in transaction
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