Lawyers’ undertaking


General principle

A Member shall honour any undertaking given in the course of the Member’s practice in a timely manner, until the undertaking is performed, released or excused.

Explanatory note

A Member’s undertaking is a personal promise, engagement, stipulation and responsibility, as well as a professional and legal obligation.

A Member must therefore exercise extreme caution when giving and accepting undertakings.

Our Member may not give an undertaking on behalf of a client if they do not have a prior mandate, unless they are requested to do so by another lawyer representing that client. A Member should not give or request an undertaking that cannot be fulfilled and must exercise due diligence in this regard. This therefore requires that our Member has full control over the ability to fulfil any undertaking given.

Ideally, a Member should provide a written confirmation of an undertaking in clear and unambiguous terms, and in a timely manner – if the Member does not intend to accept personal responsibility this should be made clear in the undertaking.

Breaches of undertakings will adversely affect both our Member’s own reputation and the Institute as a whole therefore breaches may be tolerated.

Members are expected to be honourable and trustworthy at all times as well willing able and cognisant of protecting the reputation and trustworthiness of the legal profession as a whole.

In those jurisdictions in which undertakings are not recognised as described here, Members should nevertheless exercise the same extreme caution in engaging themselves in the way outlined.