In mortgages, it is inevitable that instructions are given and that there are certain cases where who gives these instructions to the legal practitioner is not clear. For example, a Lawyer engaged by a mortgagee to give independent advice to a potential mortgagor is the agent of the mortgagor.

The provision in the Rules of Professional Conduct that states the fons et origo of a counsel’s duty is the contract of engagement between himself, and the client. However so, the contract may be oral, inferred from conduct, or written is hereby reproduced by the Legal Tip.

In Nigeria, Part B of the RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS, 2007 regulates relations and agreement with the client. Rule 18 (2) states as follows:

  1. (2) “the lawyer shall ensure that important agreements between him and his client are, as far as possible, reduced into writing, but it is dishonourable and a misconduct for the lawyer to avoid performance of s contract fairly made with his client whether reduced into writing or not”
    The imperative for counsel to emphatically have contractual agreements with clients cannot be overemphasized.

LEGALTIPS is anchored by Ms CIA Ofoegbunam, an Abuja-based lawyer who is passionate about legal practice.
LEGALTIPS offers quick hints on substantive law, as well as rules of practice and procedure, and serves as a handy reference guide to lawyers, especially in court.
Published on a weekly basis, the LEGALTIPS Series is CIA’s modest contribution to legal development in Nigeria.

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