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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

You are defending a limited company in a litigation dispute. The next stage in proceedings is disclosure. You emailed the list of documents to the Managing Director ("MD") at the company. You have asked him to look over the list and sign and return the disclosure statement. However, he has contacted you saying that there is a particular memo in the list which he does not want to disclose, as it is harmful to the company's defence; he has asked you to remove the document from the list and said that he would then sign the disclosure statement. 

What should you do?

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You must explain to the MD why the document must be included in the list. Under the SRA Code of Conduct, you have a duty to ensure that the MD, as the person signing the disclosure statement, understands the duty of disclosure. You should remind the MD that he will be in contempt of court if he knowingly signs a false disclosure statement. Removing the document from the list would be misleading the court and would breach SRA Principles 1, 2, 4, and 5, as well as Part 1.4 of the SRA Code of Conduct, which states that "You do not mislead or attempt to mislead ... the court or others." 

Key Point: Under the SRA Code of Conduct, solicitors must ensure that their clients understand the duty of disclosure and the consequences of failing to comply, including the risk of contempt of court for signing a false disclosure statement.

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