RULES ON AN ADVOCATE’S DUTY TOWARDS THE CLIENT
1. Bound to accept briefs
An advocate is bound to accept any brief in the courts or tribunals or before any other authority in or before which he proposes to practise. He should levy fees which is at par with the fees collected by fellow advocates of his standing at the Bar and the nature of the case. Special circumstances may justify his refusal to accept a particular brief.
2. Not withdraw from service
An advocate should not ordinarily withdraw from serving a client once he has agreed to serve them. He can withdraw only if he has a sufficient cause and by giving reasonable and sufficient notice to the client. Upon withdrawal, he shall refund such part of the fee that has not accrued to the client.
3. Not appear in matters where he himself is a witness
An advocate should not accept a brief or appear in a case in which he himself is a witness. If he has a reason to believe that in due course of events he will be a witness, then he should not continue to appear for the client. He should retire from the case without jeopardising his client’s interests.
4. Full and frank disclosure to client
An advocate should, at the commencement of his engagement and during the continuance thereof, make all such full and frank disclosure to his client relating to his connection with the parties and any interest in or about the controversy as are likely to affect his client’s judgement in either engaging him or continuing the engagement.
5. Uphold interest of the client
It shall be the duty of an advocate fearlessly to uphold the interests of his client by all fair and honourable means. An advocate shall do so without regard to any unpleasant consequences to himself or any other. He shall defend a person accused of a crime regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused. An advocate should always remember that his loyalty is to the law, which requires that no man should be punished without adequate evidence.
6. Not suppress material or evidence
An advocate appearing for the prosecution of a criminal trial should conduct the proceedings in a manner that it does not lead to conviction of the innocent. An advocate shall by no means suppress any material or evidence, which shall prove the innocence of the accused.
7. Not disclose the communications between client and himself
An advocate should not by any means, directly or indirectly, disclose the communications made by his client to him. He also shall not disclose the advice given by him in the proceedings. However, he is liable to disclose if it violates Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
8. An advocate should not be a party to stir up or instigate litigation.
9. An advocate should not act on the instructions of any person other than his client or the client’s authorised agent.
10. Not charge depending on success of matters
An advocate should not charge for his services depending on the success of the matter undertaken. He also shall not charge for his services as a percentage of the amount or property received after the success of the matter.
11. Not receive interest in actionable claim
An advocate should not trade or agree to receive any share or interest in any actionable claim. Nothing in this rule shall apply to stock, shares and debentures of government securities, or to any instruments, which are, for the time being, by law or custom, negotiable or to any mercantile document of title to goods.
12. Not bid or purchase property arising of legal proceeding
An advocate should not by any means bid for, or purchase, either in his own name or in any other name, for his own benefit or for the benefit of any other person, any property sold in any legal proceeding in which he was in any way professionally engaged. However, it does not prevent an advocate from bidding for or purchasing for his client any property on behalf of the client provided the Advocate is expressly authorised in writing in this behalf.
13. Not bid or transfer property arising of legal proceeding
An advocate should not by any means bid in court auction or acquire by way of sale, gift, exchange or any other mode of transfer (either in his own name or in any other name for his own benefit or for the benefit of any other person), any property which is the subject matter of any suit, appeal or other proceedings in which he is in any way professionally engaged.
14. Not adjust fees against personal liability
An advocate should not adjust fee payable to him by his client against his own personal liability to the client, which does not arise in the course of his employment as an advocate.
15.An advocate should not misuse or takes advantage of the confidence reposed in him by his client.
16.Keep proper accounts
An advocate should always keep accounts of the clients’ money entrusted to him. The accounts should show the amounts received from the client or on his behalf. The account should show along with the expenses incurred for him and the deductions made on account of fees with respective dates and all other necessary particulars.
17. Divert money from accounts
An advocate should mention in his accounts whether any monies received by him from the client are on account of fees or expenses during the course of any proceeding or opinion. He shall not divert any part of the amounts received for expenses as fees without written instruction from the client.
18. Intimate the client on amounts
Where any amount is received or given to him on behalf of his client, the advocate must without any delay intimate the client of the fact of such receipt.
19. Adjust fees after termination of proceedings
An advocate shall after the termination of proceedings, be at liberty to adjust the fees due to him from the account of the client. The balance in the account can be the amount paid by the client or an amount that has come in that proceeding. Any amount left after the deduction of the fees and expenses from the account must be returned to the client.
20. Provide copy of accounts
An advocate must provide the client with the copy of the client’s account maintained by him on demand, provided that the necessary copying charge is paid.
21. An advocate shall not enter into arrangements whereby funds in his hands are converted into loans.
22. Not lend money to his client
An advocate shall not lend money to his client for the purpose of any action or legal proceedings in which he is engaged by such client. An advocate cannot be held guilty for a breach of this rule, if in the course of a pending suit or proceeding, and without any arrangement with the client in respect of the same, the advocate feels compelled by reason of the rule of the Court to make a payment to the Court on account of the client for the progress of the suit or proceeding.
23. Not appear for opposite parties
An advocate who has advised a party in connection with the institution of a suit, appeal or other matter or has drawn pleadings, or acted for a party, shall not act, appear or plead for the opposite party in the same matter.