11.14 Lawyer-Client Conflicts - Continued
The Code of Conduct recognizes that lawyers can have relationships with their clients, outside the solicitor-client relationship. However, a lawyer cannot represent a client if there is a conflict between the lawyer’s interest and the client’s interest unless the client consents and it is in the client’s best interests for the lawyer to act. (Rule 3.4-12 of the Code)
As with other provisions, the onus is on the lawyer to prove that full disclosure was made to the client, that the client consented and that the lawyer fully disclosed the advantages of independent representation. It is difficult to see how a lawyer could prove these matters without a written document, so it is advisable to document all discussions in writing.