Conflict of Interest in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Bolkiah (Prince Jefri) v KPMG (A Firm)
    • House of Lords
    • 18 December 1999

    The fiduciary relationship which subsists between solicitor and client comes to an end with the termination of the retainer. Thereafter the solicitor has no obligation to defend and advance the interests of his former client. The only duty to the former client which survives the termination of the client relationship is a continuing duty to preserve the confidentiality of information imparted during its subsistence.

  • Bhullar v Bhullar
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 31 March 2003

    The relevant rule, which Lord Cranworth LC in Aberdeen Railway Co v. Blaikie described as being "of universal application", and which Lord Herschell in Bray v. Ford [1896] AC 44 at 51, described as "inflexible", is that (to use Lord Cranworth's formulation) no fiduciary "shall be allowed to enter into engagements in which he has, or can have, a personal interest conflicting, or which may possibly conflict, with the interests of those whom he is bound to protect".

  • D v East Berkshire Community NHS Trust and Another
    • House of Lords
    • 21 April 2005

    A doctor is obliged to act in the best interests of his patient. The best interests of a child and his parent normally march hand-in-hand. But when considering whether something does not feel 'quite right', a doctor must be able to act single-mindedly in the interests of the child. He ought not to have at the back of his mind an awareness that if his doubts about intentional injury or sexual abuse prove unfounded he may be exposed to claims by a distressed parent.

  • The Northampton Regional Livestock Centre Company Ltd v Richard Andrew Cowling and Another
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 23 January 2014

    As of 31 st August 2005 Mr Lawrence had put himself in a position whereby his duty of loyalty to the Company was in conflict with his own personal interest. The situation is closely analogous to that referred to by Lord Justice Tuckey in Hurstanger cited at paragraph [179] above who perceived the conflict as obvious. At the same time because he was still a partner in MCL and working for the Company he stood to be paid a fee by the Company earned by virtue of the same sale.

  • Phipps v Boardman
    • House of Lords
    • 03 November 1966

    The phrase "possibly may conflict" requires consideration. In my view it means that the reasonable man looking at the relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case would think that there was a real sensible possibility of conflict; not that you could imagine some situation arising which might, in some conceivable possibility in events not contemplated as real sensible possibilities by any reasonable person, result in a conflict.

  • Toth v Jarman
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 July 2006

    Where an expert has a material or significant conflict of interest, the court is likely to decline to act on his evidence, or indeed to give permission for his evidence to be adduced. This means it is important that a party who wishes to call an expert with a potential conflict of interest should disclose details of that conflict at as early a stage in the proceedings as possible.

  • Braganza v BP Shipping Ltd
    • Supreme Court
    • 18 March 2015

    It is not for the courts to re-write the parties' bargain for them, still less to substitute themselves for the contractually agreed decision-maker. They have done so by implying a term as to the manner in which such powers may be exercised, a term which may vary according to the terms of the contract and the context in which the decision-making power is given.

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