From time to time in Family Law practice clients will seek to restrain former solicitors from acting for their now estranged partner, alleging what might generally be called a conflict of interest.

Such a situation came before May J in Manner & Manner [2012] FamCAFC 6 (23 January 2012). In that case it was held a Family Law applicant seeking an order restraining an opposing litigant from continuing to instruct particular solicitors must show that:
- The subject solicitor theoretically is imparted with information which could embarrass the Applicant; and
- The Applicant is reasonably of the view that that information might be used against him or to his disadvantage in the subject proceedings.

Rather than being based on any possible conflict of interest, the foundation of the subject order is the possibility of disadvantage and/or prejudice accruing to the Applicant, because of:
- The holding of confidential information; and
- The relationship between solicitor and client.

A circumspect approach to the preparation of your material is encouraged in any such injunction application. Unnecessary disclosure may deprive your application of ultimate utility.

It is also useful to remember such an application is interlocutory and it should not completely distract you from the preparation of the substantive case.

Ross Bowler LLB
 


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30/07/2013 11:18pm

I agree with you totally. When two people with different interests are put to work together there can never be any success, unless they can keep aside their motives and work for the greater good. But that is unlikely to happen most of the times.

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