Conflicts Between Lawyer & Client

General Prohibition and Certain Exceptions

Generally speaking, a lawyer may act as legal advisor or as a business associate to a client, but not both.  Subject to permitted exceptions, you must not perform legal services for a client if:
  • you have a direct or indirect financial interest in the subject matter of the legal services; or
  • anyone has a direct or indirect financial interest that would reasonably be expected to affect your professional judgment.
Essentially, you may only enter into a transaction with a client if the transaction is fair and reasonable to the client and you comply with the provisions of rules 3.4-28 – 3.4-35 of the Law Society of New Brunswick Code of Professional Conduct.  The prohibition will not apply where your client enters into a transaction with a publicly traded corporation in which you have an interest, or you are borrowing money from a client that is a bank, trust company, insurance company or finance company that lends money in the ordinary course of business.