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Improper use of client account as a banking facility

SRA Case Study: Instructing foreign lawyers

Scenario

A law firm has been instructed by a client to advise on a transaction involving government bonds in a foreign jurisdiction. The lead solicitor has advised the client that the firm will need to instruct lawyers in the foreign jurisdiction to provide specialist advice. The client has asked the firm to project manage the transaction and proposed that money could be paid to the firm so that it can pay the foreign lawyers' fees.

SRA's View

Where there is an underlying legal transaction on which the law firm is acting (for example, provision of advice on the terms of the bond) and the firm engages the foreign law firm, we do not consider that this scenario gives rise to a breach of rule 14.5.

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