Before taking instructions and providing advice, you must undertake a conflict check for every person and any additional party to a matter.
To conduct a conflict check, you must confirm the spelling of all parties – do not assume the spelling in CLASS or telephone note/email given to you is correct. Regardless of how simple the spelling may be, please confirm these details.
- Try partial spellings of the name (for CLASS you must enter at least 2 letters, from any part of the name)
- Try similar names (e.g. Jo/Joseph, Mary/Maria)
- Try first or last name only
- Try putting the names in the opposite fields (i.e. first name in the last name box and visa versa)
When running the details through CLASS, please check a variety of spelling options when checking and allow for common typing and hearing errors, particularly when taking details from the phone.
A potential conflict needs to be checked when:
- The client you are speaking to is listed in our system as an ‘other party’ or ‘related party’
- An additional party that the client has mentioned comes up in our system as a ‘client’ or ‘related party’
It needs to be raised with the supervisor immediately. They will decide whether we can assist or not.
Things to look at when a potential conflict arises:
- Is it the same person? (check DOB)
- When did we last advise/assist – is it current?
- Did we provide one-off advice or ongoing work?
- What was the previous assistance for? Is it the same?
If a potential conflict arises say:
“Can I put you on hold? I just need to check in with the supervisor”
If they cannot hold, ensure you have a way to contact them back.
If we are unable to assist, the Street Law solicitor/worker may want to:
- apologise for the fact that Street Law cannot assist; and
- explain that an ethical problem exists and that this means Street Law is unable to provide assistance.
- not identify the other party if it is a direct individual conflict; and
- ensure that you make an appropriate referral.
Ensure that you have provided referral pathways where appropriate.