Relations with other solicitors
This section contains Rules 30, 31, 32 and 33.
30. Another solicitor or other person's error
- A solicitor must not take unfair advantage of the obvious error of another solicitor or other person, if to do so would obtain for a client a benefit which has no supportable foundation in law or fact.
31. Inadvertent disclosure
- Unless otherwise permitted or compelled by law, a solicitor to whom material known or reasonably suspected to be confidential is disclosed by another solicitor, or by some other person and who is aware that the disclosure was inadvertent must not use the material and must:
- return, destroy or delete the material (as appropriate) immediately upon becoming aware that disclosure was inadvertent; and
- notify the other solicitor or the other person of the disclosure and the steps taken to prevent inappropriate misuse of the material.
- A solicitor who reads part or all of the confidential material before becoming aware of its confidential status must:
- notify the opposing solicitor or the other person immediately; and
- not read any more of the material.
- If a solicitor is instructed by a client to read confidential material received in error, the solicitor must refuse to do so.
32. Unfounded allegations
- A solicitor must not make an allegation against another Australian legal practitioner of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct unless the allegation is made bona fide and the solicitor believes on reasonable grounds that available material by which the allegation could be supported provides a proper basis for it.
33. Communication with another solicitor's client
- A solicitor must not deal directly with the client or clients of another practitioner unless:
- the other practitioner has previously consented;
- the solicitor believes on reasonable grounds that:
- the circumstances are so urgent as to require the solicitor to do so; and
- the dealing would not be unfair to the opponent’s client;
- the substance of the dealing is solely to enquire whether the other party or parties to a matter are represented and, if so, by whom; or
- there is notice of the solicitor’s intention to communicate with the other party or parties, but the other practitioner has failed, after a reasonable time, to reply and there is a reasonable basis for proceeding with contact.