Excel Lawyers’ action relies on two rules of the ACT Conduct Rules: Rules 9 and 10. Beginning with Rule 9, sub rule 1, clause 1, it is found that it prevents a solicitor from disclosing information to a personal who is not a partner, principal, director or employee of his law practice.
Clause 2 provides a similar bar as clause 1, but applies to any ‘associated entity’ or a fellow solicitor not employed by the solicitor’s law practice.
Further, Sue’s knowledge of the matter gained from office gossip would not fall under any of the 6 exceptions provided by Rule 9 sub rule 2.
Moving on to Rule 10, sub rule 1 expressly necessitates legal practitioners to evade a clash of interest between a present (Barry) and previous (Company) client.
Sub rule 2 bars a solicitor having confidential data of a preceding client to act for another client for whom disclosure of such information would be advantageous, if the disclosure jeopardizes the former client’s interests.
It also specifies two conditions where disclosure is allowed:
Since the case falls under neither of the exceptions based on the facts given, Rule 10 would bar Jess from acting further for Barry.
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