The 2023 Code of Ethics includes a section entitled “Conflicts of Interest”.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts from that section.
In the case of a conflict, in advance
- disclose to the client or prospective client any transaction or relationship that could reasonably be expected to give rise to a conflict of interest
- advise the client or prospective client to seek independent professional advice
- take all reasonable steps to ensure that the client or prospective client has demonstrated a reasonable understanding of the potential conflict of interest
- obtain consent in writing from the client or prospective client to the provision of the registrant’s services despite the potential conflict of interest.
- provide services, including representation, to a client or continue to provide services to a client where the interests may conflict
So, these are the new conflicts of interest rules. First, don’t act. Then, if you do:
- disclose the conflict,
- recommend professional advice,
- ensure the client’s informed consent, and
- document the client’s decision.
Going forward, there should be a Form of some nature, similar to Form 127 for this particular purpose. You may also use an email for #1, and #2, but you will require some written documentation from the prospective client BEFORE they actually become a client.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker