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Clients being accompanied to interviews

Sometimes clients ask for another person to come with them to a consultation, for “support” or other reasons.  Paragraph 2.1 of the Guide to Professional Conduct of Solicitors in Ireland provides as follows:-

“Duress or undue influence

A solicitor should not accept instructions which he suspects have been given by a client under duress or undue influence. Particular care should be taken where a client is elderly or otherwise vulnerable to pressure from others. A solicitor will usually, but not always, see a client alone. In the case of suspected duress or undue influence the solicitor should ensure that a client is seen alone.”

Because of this, and also because there is no solicitor/client confidentiality between the third party and the solicitor, we are of the view that clients should not be accompanied to consultations, other than in exceptional circumstances. Ultimately you must decide whether those circumstances exist in any particular case.