22. Communication with opponents
- A solicitor must not knowingly make a false statement to an opponent in relation to the case (including its compromise).
- A solicitor must take all necessary steps to correct any false statement made by the solicitor to an opponent as soon as possible after the solicitor becomes aware that the statement was false.
- A solicitor will not have made a false statement to the opponent simply by failing to correct an error on any matter stated to the solicitor by the opponent.
- A solicitor must not confer or deal with any party represented by or to the knowledge of the solicitor indemnified by an insurer, unless the party and the insurer have signified willingness to that course.
- A solicitor must not, outside an ex parte application or a hearing of which an opponent has had proper notice, communicate in the opponent’s absence with the court concerning any matter of substance in connection with current proceedings unless:
- the court has first communicated with the solicitor in such a way as to require the solicitor to respond to the court; or
- the opponent has consented beforehand to the solicitor communicating with the court in a specific manner notified to the opponent by the solicitor.
- A solicitor must promptly tell the opponent what passes between the solicitor and a court in a communication referred to in Rule 22.5.
- A solicitor must not raise any matter with a court in connection with current proceedings on any occasion to which an opponent has consented under Rule 22.5.2 other than the matters specifically notified by the solicitor to the opponent when seeking the opponent's consent.
- A solicitor must take steps to inform the opponent as soon as possible after the solicitor has reasonable grounds to believe that there will be an application on behalf of the client to adjourn any hearing, of that fact and the grounds of the application, and must try, with the opponent’s consent, to inform the court of that application promptly.
This Guidance Statement considers some of the ethical issues when applying the ‘no contact rule’ to an opposing client who is an organisation.
This Guidance Statement outlines the fundamental duty of honesty and courtesy in communications with colleagues and provides guidance on how to respond to discourtesy.