Ethics in Law Firms: A Practical Guide

A useful guide and resource for anyone needing to understand the ethical behaviour expected of lawyers and law firms

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This report is a guide to the ethical behaviour expected of lawyers and all those working within a law firm. It is designed to be of assistance to law students, trainees, and newly qualified solicitors, as well as others working in the legal profession who need a quick answer to a conduct dilemma. The report provides a practical guide to some of the difficult, but common issues which arise.

The report includes an explanatory analysis of the conduct requirements and frequently asked questions (FAQs), with worked examples, examples from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and case law. The FAQs are based on the many examples the author has encountered during her time working in the Law Society/SRA ethics department and from her experience as a tutor on various professional conduct courses.

This report is intended to be a useful resource for anyone who needs to understand – or to be reminded of – the behaviours that they are expected to demonstrate.

Unique selling points:

  • The author was Senior Ethics Advisor for the SRA’s ethics team which means she is an expert on the topic and has in-depth knowledge of the issues which arise with regards to ethical behaviour
  • The report provides a detailed but easy-to-digest explanation of both the role of the SRA in setting standards and the behaviours they expect from the profession
  • The report provides guidance on ethics in practice
  • This practical report contains advice on frequently asked questions (FAQs), and contains worked examples, examples from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and from case law

Each chapter contains ‘top tips’ about the conduct issues discussed.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Client care

Chapter 3: Equality and diversity

Chapter 4: Confidentiality and disclosure

Chapter 5: Conflicts of interests

Chapter 6: Duties to the court

Chapter 7: Referrals and recommendations

Chapter 8: Spare time activities

Chapter 9: Undertakings and other duties to third parties

Chapter 10: Client money

Chapter 11: Your working environment, practising certificate, and relationship with the SRA

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Tracey Calvert
Tracey Calvert is a lawyer and the director of Oakalls Consultancy Limited. She is a regulatory, compliance and ethics specialist, providing a variety of advisory services to members of the solicitor’s profession. She is a regular speaker and trainer on these topics and has delivered presentations both within the UK and internationally. She is an officer of the International Bar Association’s Professional Ethics Committee and a board member of both the Wilmington Group’s Legal Compliance Association and the Law Society’s Legal Compliance Bulletin. Tracey was previously employed by the Law Society and the SRA as a senior ethics advisor and a policy executive.

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