General principle

A Member’s work shall be carried out in a competent and timely manner. A Member shall not take on work that they do not reasonably believe can be carried out in that manner.

Explanatory note

A Member lawyer is presumed to be knowledgeable, skilled, and capable in the practice of law. Accordingly, the client is entitled to assume that the lawyer has the ability and capacity to deal adequately with all legal matters to be undertaken on the client’s behalf or to procure that somebody else either in or outside the law firm will do it.

Competence is founded upon both ethical and legal principles. It involves more than an understanding of legal principles and involves an adequate knowledge of the practice and procedures by which such principles can be effectively applied, and includes competent and effective client, file and practice-management strategies.

A Member lawyer must consider the client’s suggestion to obtain other opinions in a complex matter or from a specialist, without deeming such requests to be a lack of trust.