- General Principles
- Client Relations
- Clients in Court
- The Adverse party
- Trainees of the Firm
- Conduct in the Office
- This Code of Ethics (hereinafter called: the Code) establishes the principles and rules of conduct that attorneys and legal consultants at Mena City Lawyers (MCL) (‘Attorneys’) shall at all times follow in fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
- This Code applies to any Attorney of one jurisdiction in his relations with an attorney of another jurisdiction or to his professional activities in any other jurisdiction.
- Compliance with this Code and the Code of Regulation and Conduct are terms and conditions of employment.
- Nothing in this code shall absolve Attorneys from the obligation to comply with the law or rules of professional conduct to which he may be subject in any relevant jurisdiction.
In accordance with the convictions, principles and values of MCL as a firm an Attorney shall:
- conscientiously fulfil all of the duties arising from his position as an Attorney and seek to maintain the reputation and dignity of the legal profession by his conduct in both his professional and private life;
- not misrepresent the nature or extent of his qualification or position;
- have due respect for the law and shall pay his taxes in full and on time;
- behave in such a way as to gain and maintain the trust of the client as well as of any judicial, professional or another body before whom he may appear;
- demonstrate respect for human rights and freedoms, rules and concepts, and thereby shall not in any way or at any time discriminate against others on the basis of their sex, skin colour, ethnicity, citizenship, or any religious or political views;
- maintain due respect towards the Court, the judiciary, the clerks of court and opponent lawyers at all times;
- never purposefully mislead the Court or knowingly give advice which is contrary to the provisions of the law;
- at all times seek to protect the interests of his clients, by use of the means available to them in accordance with the law and the dignity of the legal profession;
- at all times give clients candid and honest opinions on any case;
- avoid unnecessary expenses while working for any client;
- in representing a client, preserve his independence and integrity.
- not accept any job not compatible with the responsibilities of the legal profession and or that could compromise the Attorney’s independence and reputation and or the integrity of the legal profession itself;
- attract clients by means of offers, intermediaries and advertisements;
- give blank letters-of-attorney or promotional material to third parties;
- collaborate with unlicensed attorneys and persons suspected of being illegal practitioners of law;
- belittle other attorneys, employees or other persons;
- acquire, without the approval and knowledge of MCL Management a financial interest in the subject matter of any case which they are conducting;
- acquire property, either directly or indirectly, involved in a pending litigation where MCL represents one of the parties; and
- represent conflicting interests in litigation;
- treat his professional colleagues with the utmost courtesy and fairness;
- always put the interests of his clients and the exigencies of the administration of justice first;
- not permit his professional services or his name to be used in any way which would make it possible for persons to practice law who are not legally authorised to do so;
- maintain respect for the environment by taking concrete and tangible action, such as avoiding waste and the printing of unnecessary documents as well as implementing a recycling program.
In order to maintain the trust and confidence of his clients in relation to their affairs an Attorney shall:
- preserve the confidentiality of any information acquired from a client or otherwise in the course of rendering legal assistance including but not limited to all documents, recordings, computer data, pictures and similar materials and deposits (‘Confidential Information’);
- exercise the utmost care to ensure the confidentiality of such Confidential Information be preserved by other persons working in his office;
- not disclose any Confidential Information, even upon the termination of a case, unless ordered to do so by a court or due to litigation in court between the client and his attorney;
- only disclose Confidential Information with the written consent of the client, where it is necessary for the defence of the Attorney holding such information, or if it is necessary to justify the Attorney’s decision to withdraw from defending the client.
In the course of his conduct toward and in relation to a client of MCL an Attorney shall:
- exercise all his professional skill and discretion to represent a client conscientiously and to render his legal assistance without delay or hesitation;
- be responsible for managing the volume of his work in his clients’ best interests and shall use all due skill and care not to jeopardise the quality, timeliness, thoroughness and conscientious execution of his work for a client because of an excessive workload or for any other reason;
- not refuse a client’s request for legal assistance except in exceptional circumstances including a lack of capacity to adequately deal with the matter, insufficient expertise in a particular legal field, a reasonable belief in the client’s inclination to frivolous and vexatious litigation, the client’s immoral purpose for seeking legal assistance or the client’s inability to pay the fee where the work does not fall under MCL’s pro bono activities;
- be entitled to refuse to represent a client against a friend, relative or former employee of the adverse party, and where he does not refuse shall inform the client in writing of the nature and extent of any former or current relationship and obtain the client’s prior written approval;
- shall cease to act for either or both of two or more clients where a dispute arises amongst them in connection with the matter on which they are being advised and which cannot be resolved amicably between the clients;
- where it is in the best interests of the client, use every effort to help the parties to a dispute to settle without initiating judicial or any other proceedings, and where such proceedings are initiated an Attorney shall encourage the parties to resolve the dispute by way of a settlement where it would be in the client’s interests to do so;
- represent and defend the client conscientiously, using all the necessary legal means to do so;
- not make contact with the adverse party in the course of representation and in connection with the dispute in the absence of the client or without the client’s prior written approval;
- conscientiously protect the interest of all parties to a dispute where the Attorney represents more than one party, regardless of which party sought the legal assistance in the first instance and which party pays the Attorney’s fees;
- not, in the course of representing a client, accept the invitation of the adverse party to represent him, whether in the same case or in another.
Representation in of Clients in Court
When conducting the affairs of a client in Court an Attorney shall:
- undertake the proffered defence of any defendant in a case, regardless of the identity of the accused individual or the nature of the proceedings against them;
- not refuse to render legal assistance in any case because it is difficult to win, because there is some irrefutable evidence that a criminal offence has been committed or a civil liability incurred, because the client has admitted his guilt or liability, because of the severity of a particular criminal offence or civil liability, because of public opinion or for any other similar reason;
- avoid giving prominence to his name in connection with any civil or criminal case for the purpose of advertising, particularly in relation to outlets of the mass media;
not make public statements in the course of any action whether civil or criminal that may have an impact on the progress and outcome of the proceedings.
Relationship to the adverse party:
In accordance with the General Principles above and the spirit and letter of this Code, in conducting a case against another party or defending a client an Attorney shall:
- treat the adverse party in a considerate and objective way, whilst at all times working to resolve the dispute as soon as possible and in the mutual interest of the parties;
- not exploit any ignorance or error on the part of the adverse part nor seek to intimidate the adverse party, in order to for his client to profit from such intimidation particularly if that party does not have a legal representative;
- not make or allow himself to come into any contact with the adverse party without the knowledge of that party’s counsel and without the knowledge of his own client.
Relationship among Attorneys
Out of due respect for the legal profession as a whole and as a representative of MCL; when conducting himself among his peers and Attorney shall:
- maintain due respect for the legal profession such as to have a correct and loyal relationship with other attorneys and to show professional solidarity;
- represent a client already represented by another attorney in a particular matter without first obtaining a release document or other approval in writing from such attorney, although nothing in this shall preclude him from giving a second opinion;
- not undertake representation of a client already represented by another attorney until the client has cancelled the power of attorney given to the previous attorney;
- treat the opposing attorney with due respect, and not belittle or slight him in any way personal or professional;
- respect an opposing attorney as a colleague and avoid unnecessary confrontation with him;
- seek to settle any disagreement with any other attorney or legal consultant or trainee immediately, and failing that to settle the dispute with the mediation of a legal professional committee.
Relationship towards Law Trainees of the Firm
In recognition of the important place of the training and development of young lawyers both for the future of the profession and for MCL as a firm an Attorney shall:
- seek to accept for training young, capable and diligent trainees (‘Trainees’);
- offer his Trainees opportunities to acquire experience of legal practice and knowledge and provide an adequate training program to enable them to do so;
- conscientiously supervise the work and progress of his law trainee(s);
- pay due attention to familiarising Trainees with any applicable regulatory code of ethics and standards and this Code;
- procure that any and all Trainees shall keep the confidences and secrets of the law office in which he works.
Conduct in the Office
- In keeping with the beliefs and principles of MCL as a firm an Attorney shall:
- strive to keep and maintain the standard of his own work and that of his office consistent with the reputation of the legal profession as an autonomous and independent service;
- strive to undertake regular pro-bono work as frequently as possible;
- always be able to provide any relevant legal professional bodies (such as the Bar Association) with any information requested relating to his work;
- be particularly conscientious and punctual in financial operations conducted on behalf of his clients;
- never mix a client’s money with his own or that of the office and shall always be in a position to pay out such money on demand;
- never keep money received on behalf of the client longer than necessary;
- be prohibited from:
- using or keeping money which has been given to an Attorney for a specific purpose, except for that purpose;
- extend the right of retention for outstanding claims for services yet to be rendered;
- receive or accept money from a source which is unclear or which he suspects of intending to launder such money, or where he suspects such money may be the proceeds of crime or in some other way suspicious.