Duties of a lawyer when acting as an advocate, fraud, and defamation.

“Lord Bingham in the 2002 case said:

‘ Paragraph 606(c) (of the Bar Code of Conduct) lays down an important and salutary principle. The parties to contested actions are often at daggers drawn, and the litigious process serves to exacerbate the hostility between them. Such clients are only too ready to make allegations of the most damaging kind against each other. While counsel should never lend his name to such allegations unless instructed to do so, the receipt of instructions is not of itself enough. Counsel is bound to exercise an objective professional judgment whether it is in all the circumstances proper to lend his name to the allegation. As the rule recognises, counsel could not properly judge it proper to make such an allegation unless he had material before him which the judged to be reasonably credible and which appeared to justify the allegation. At the hearing stage, counsel cannot properly make or persist in an allegation which is unsupported by admissible evidence, since if there is not admissible evidence to support the allegation the court cannot be invited to find that it has been proved, and if the court cannot be invited to find that the allegation has been proved the allegation should not be made or should be withdrawn. I would however agree with Wilson J that at the preparatory stage the requirement is not that counsel should necessarily have before him evidence in admissible form but that he should have material of such a character as to lead responsible counsel to conclude that serious allegations could properly be based upon it.’

…and now some information as to allegations of fraud ‘alleged fraud’, ‘suspected fraud’, ‘purported fraud’. The courts will deem any allegation containing the word fraud as defamatory, if there is no truth in such allegations. Therefore, having reason to believe, or reasonable grounds, is no longer a defence to such allegations pursuant to the Defamation Act 2013. Unless the allegations are based upon truth, such allegations are likely to be defamatory, and you will find yourself facing damages and costs.

If it isn’t true, do not say it. Do not suggest it, unless it is true, rather than you believe it to be true.”

Rosen’s blog - useful reads for litigants in person

A lawyer is broadly speaking in English law, a generic term for a solicitor, a barrister, a legal executive, and a solicitor-advocate, regulated by a governing body with codes of conduct, a certificate to practice in the profession, and carrying sufficient indemnity insurance.

A solicitor and a solicitor-advocate’s conduct is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.

A barrister’s conduct is governed by the Code of Conduct of the General Council of the Bar.

Any lawyer who is regulated by the Law Society or the General Council of the Bar, and has a practising certificate and indemnity insurance, can be an advocate.

Barristers and Solicitor-Advocates (if properly accredited by their professional body, or permission of the court), have higher rights of audience in the High Courts of Justice in civil courts, and the Crown Courts in criminal courts, to speak.

Litigants-in-person have full higher rights of…

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