What Is a Conflict of Interest? (continued)

A lawyer may have a personal or economic interest (other than payment of reasonable fees) that conflicts with those of the client and which may impact the lawyer’s ability to provide unbiased counsel. Each of the personal interest examples below may render your insurance void. Examples:
  • You own 15% of the shares of a privately held company. Your client intends to purchase the company and take it public, and wants you to paper the deal.
  • Your client wants to invest in your spouse’s free-range llama farm and asks you to help negotiate the deal.
  • Your long-term client is having financial difficulties and you decide to loan him money to help him through a rough spot.
In addition to harming your reputation, engaging in a conflict of interest can lead to:
  • a complaint being filed against you and to an investigation by the Registrar of Complaints;
  • civil liability claim against you; and
  • your being removed as the solicitor of record for a matter by a court or tribunal.