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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

A solicitor has been contacted by Mary, who asks him to represent her father, Tom, at the police station. Tom has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is in custody. The solicitor is fully aware of the circumstances of the allegation as he represented Mary's brother, John, several days ago when John was arrested for the same offence. John has now been charged with the offence. The firm will carry out the usual conflict of interest check. Does the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs, and RFLs permit the solicitor to represent Mary’s father at the police station?

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According to the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs, and RFLs, a solicitor can accept instructions from a third party, such as Mary, provided that the solicitor is satisfied that the third party has the authority to give instructions and that there is no conflict of interest or significant risk of conflict. In this case, the solicitor must ensure that there is no conflict of interest arising from his prior representation of John's brother. If the conflict of interest check clears, the solicitor can proceed to represent Tom. 

Key Point: The SRA Code of Conduct permits solicitors to accept instructions from third parties if they have authority and there is no conflict of interest. It is crucial for solicitors to perform conflict checks to ensure compliance with ethical standards and to maintain the integrity of legal representation.

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