The PrinciplesThe Code forms part of the Handbook, in which the 10 mandatory Principles are all-pervasive. They apply to all those we regulate and underpin all aspects of practice. They define the fundamental ethical and professional standards that we expect of all firms and individuals (including owners who may not be lawyers) when providing legal services. You should always have regard to the Principles and use them as your starting point when faced with an ethical dilemma.
Where two or more Principles come into conflict the one which takes precedence is the one which best serves the public interest in the particular circumstances, especially the public interest in the proper administration of justice. Compliance with the Principles is also subject to any overriding legal obligations.
- uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;
- act with integrity;
- not allow your independence to be compromised;
- act in the best interests of each client;
- provide a proper standard of service to your clients;
- behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
- comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;
- run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;
- run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; and
- protect client money and assets.
What protects Solicitors more than the Law is their clients and others not having the conviction to pursue grievances through a Court, instead relying on the Disciplinary Bodies whose attitude seems to imply that the Solicitor is always right.
I am not a lawyer nor am I giving legal advise. I am just pointing out what the Law says and what appears to happen in reality and not in the closed world of legalese.