6.3 Client Care

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Under Rule 2 of the Solicitor's Code of Conduct 2007, various matters are required to be explained to the client during the initial stages of the retainer.

Rule 2.02 relates to client care and states that a solicitor is required to:

(1)

  • identify clearly the client's objectives in relation to the work to be done for the client;
  • give the client a clear explanation of the issues involved and the options available to the client;
  • agree with the client the next steps to be taken; and
  • keep the client informed of progress, unless otherwise agreed.

(2) You must, both at the outset and, as necessary, during the course of the matter:

  • agree an appropriate level of service;
  • explain your responsibilities;
  • explain the client's responsibilities;
  • ensure that the client is given, in writing, the name and status of the person dealing with the matter and the name of the person responsible for its overall supervision; and
  • explain any limitations or conditions resulting from your relationship with a third party (for example a funder, fee sharer or introducer) which affect the steps you can take on the client's behalf.

Under Rule 2.02 (3) if a solicitor can demonstrate that it was inappropriate in the circumstances to meet some or all of these requirements, then they will not breach Rule 2.02.

Under Rule 2.03, discussed in 'costs information to the client', a solicitor is required to provide certain costs information to the client. This should be done at the start of the case so that the client is aware of the likely overall costs of the case and the fact that even if a costs order is obtained, some litigation costs may ultimately be irrecoverable.

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