Change Of Counsel By A Client: How Is It Done

Change Of Counsel By A Client: How Is It Done

Change Of Counsel By A Client: How Is It Done?

S.T. Afolabi Esq.
It is not unusual to see clients desire that they need a change of counsel. It is infact normal and legal.
As a client, in exercise of your constitutional right to be legally represented by any counsel of your choice(usually, but not only limited to criminal cases), you reserve the right to change your counsel, if you think you no longer needs his services any longer.
However, that been said, it is important to note that, in as much as you have the right to a change of counsel, same can not be done abruptly, it must be done by following the due legal process.
The Legal Practitioners Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) (2007) provides for steps to be taking in having a change of counsel. This is provided for under Rule 29 of the RPC 2007.
Generally speaking, It should be noted that there is no particular or specific mode or pattern of changing counsel. Any suitable means adopted by the client suffices.
However, Change of counsel generally takes two forms;
1. Before litigation.
2. During litigation.
Conditions for change of counsel under the RPC 2007 before litigation are:
1. The new lawyer must promptly give notice to the former lawyer;
2. The new lawyer must use his best endeavors to ensure that the former lawyer is paid his earned fees.
Condition for change of counsel during litigation is;
1. Both the old and new lawyer must make sure they inform the court of the changes, though this may be done orally in court, it is However advisable to be done in writing.
After changing a counsel, the client is entitled to all his documents in the custody of the former lawyer.
1. RULE 29 OF THE RPC, 2007.


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