A conflict of interest is anything that impedes or might be perceived to impede an individual's or firm's ability to act impartially and in the best interest of a client.
A conflict of interest can cast doubt on your integrity; it can also have a damaging effect on your firm and the profession as a whole. A conflict of interest may occur where you or your firm:
- Are acting for another person with competing interests at the same time (e.g. advising both the seller and buyer of a single commercial property simultaneously)
- Have other obligations or pressures that detract from or affect your relationship with the client (e.g. acting as an expert witness where you/your firm has an interest in the outcome of the proceedings)
- Are faced with conflicting duties owed to different clients (e.g. acting for two or more parties competing for an opportunity)
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