French attorneys are obliged to comply with strict rules aimed at preventing a conflict of interest.
According to the National Rules applicable to the Profession of Attorney (“Règlement Intérieur National de la Profession d’Avocat – RIN“), an attorney may not represent or advise:
- more than one client in a given matter if there is a conflict of interest,
- more than one client in a given matter if there is a serious risk of conflict of interest, unless all parties to such matter agree to be advised by the same attorney,
- a new client if the secrecy of the information disclosed to the attorney by a previous client is at risk of being violated.
To ensure that the above rules are complied with, French lawyers are obliged to verify the identity of every client, prior to providing any legal assistance.