The story we ran today about the solicitor potentially compromised by a relationship he began with a client caught up in an acrimonius contact dispute (see link below) raises interesting conduct issues.

Such relationships are rare but not unknown, of course - a couple of years ago an American lawyer was suspended indefinitely after actually billing his client for the time he spent with her in this non-legal capacity.

As you'll see in the story, family law group Resolution is very firm on what should happen in such a situation, even though the SRA Code of Conduct does not prohibit it.

It was an issue I first looked into back some years ago, after the American Bar Association introduced a model rule that prevented a lawyer from having a sexual relationship with a client unless they were already in it before they became a client.

You can read the feature I commissioned for the Law Society Gazette here. Sadly the online version does not include the accompanying cartoon, which I still think is the best one I ever commissioned. It featured a male lawyer in bed with his female client, asking her to sign a 'Client relationship waiver'. The woman replies: "This isn't what I meant by protection."