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Duties of a solicitor

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Duties of a solicitor

Postby JoeDaFone » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:58 am

Does a solicitor have a duty to ensure that what their client has told them, and instructed them to do, is legal?

For example, if a landlord asks a solicitor to pursue the family of a former tenant of theirs for a rent debt when the landlord knows full well that the tenant lived alone and didn't leave an Estate? Does the solicitor have a duty to ensure that the information their client has given them is accurate and the course of action they have been asked to pursue is legal?
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Re: Duties of a solicitor

Postby dls » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:37 pm

A solicitor should not make a demand for money he should know is not due.

It is proper to make a demand for arrears of rent from the estate. He has no obvious easy way of knowing that the estate is insolvent.

None of that includes demanding money which is known to him to be not due, or to misphrase any demand to make it appear that a non-tenant is liable.
There is of course the possibility (at the least) that there were possessions in the flat which have been taken by family members which should have been sold to pay arrears of rent.
Liability for rent can continue to accrue to the estate after the death.
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Re: Duties of a solicitor

Postby atticus » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:34 pm

I would not accept instructions simply on the facts stated by the OP (which I think dls has misread). It is possible that there is more to it; there often is.

A solicitor is entitled to take client instructions at face value. He may need to seek further information, and it may be appropriate to query inconsistencies.
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Re: Duties of a solicitor

Postby JoeDaFone » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:33 am

@DLS and @Atticus

Thanks for the replies, my question was more around the "due diligence" that a solicitor must perform. What duties are there on a solicitor to ensure that the facts presented by their client are accurate before acting on that client's behalf?
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Re: Duties of a solicitor

Postby dls » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:56 am

None - in those terms.

It is the court's duty to decide what is true and what is not.

He has a duty not to put forward a case he knows to be false.

Presenting a case will usually be better for checking out whatever may be tested by the other side.
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Re: Duties of a solicitor

Postby atticus » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:46 pm

As dls said
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