May 08, 2014
A recent Supreme Court decision, Canadian National Railway Co. v. McKercher LLP (McKercher), has added new dimension to the ongoing discussion in the legal industry in Canada on the issues facing practitioners regarding conflicts of interest. In a Lexpert article that explores the McKercher decision and its implications, Counsel Julia Holland provides analysis. Below is an excerpt of the article.
McKercher, then, brought some much-needed certainty to a pivotal issue in the conflicts debate.
“By clarifying that the bright-line rule applied only to legal interests and not to business interests, the Supreme Court decision should bring more consistency to how different law firms understand their obligations,” says Julia Holland, counsel in Torys LLP’s Toronto office.
Still, important questions lingered.
Where the bright-line rule was inapplicable, the SCC state, the issue became whether the concurrent representation created a substantial risk that the lawyer’s representation of the client would be materially and adversely affected by the lawyer’s own interests or by the lawyer’s duties to another current client, a former client, or a third person.
To read the full article, click here.