1 Code of ethics
Each LEX Africa member shall (and shall ensure that its lawyers and other staff members shall) at all times –
1.1 maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity and independence;
1.2 act with all due and proper care, skill and diligence, honour undertakings and maintain the reputation and high standards required of a LEX Africa member in the performance of their duties;
1.3 maintain the highest standards of professionalism;
1.4 comply with all ethical and professional rules of practice;
1.5 respect and maintain all legal privilege and confidentiality obligations with regard to clients and former clients, unless otherwise required by law;
1.6 avoid any conflict of interest in the performance of their professional duties;
1.7 conduct themselves with courtesy and respect towards the other parties (and their legal and other representatives) in all matters and other proceedings;
1.8 not engage in any conduct which may prejudice or otherwise adversely affect the good name, reputation and goodwill of LEX Africa and/or all or any of its members.
2 General obligations
2.1 Each LEX Africa member shall (and shall ensure that its lawyers and other staff members shall) comply with the LEX Africa memorandum of objectives (as amended or substituted from time to time) and all policies and decisions of the LEX Africa management committee and LEX Africa members in general meeting.
2.2 Each LEX Africa member shall appoint one or more contact persons who will be responsible for liaising with the LEX Africa management office (“management office”). Each LEX Africa member shall ensure that its contact persons (and in their absence, an appropriate alternate) promptly responds to all notices, communications and requests for information received from the management office.
2.3 Each LEX Africa member shall do everything within its power to promote, support and enhance the good name, reputation and goodwill of LEX Africa.
3 Client referrals by LEX Africa members or the management office (“LEX Africa referrals”)
3.1 Each client referral relating to a country in which LEX Africa has a member, shall be referred to the LEX Africa member in such country unless such member is conflicted or is otherwise unable to act or if the relevant client does not wish to use such member.
3.2 Each LEX Africa member shall respond to a LEX Africa referral promptly after receipt thereof and shall acknowledge receipt of such referral in writing within one working day of receipt of such referral.
3.3 Each LEX Africa member shall at all times maintain an effective and efficient procedure to check for any conflict of interests which may preclude the acceptance of a LEX Africa referral and shall promptly advise the referring firm, management office and/or referred client (as applicable) if any such conflict of interest exists.
3.4 Unless the LEX Africa referral is received from the management office, the management office shall be promptly informed in writing of details of the LEX Africa referral so that the management office may update its data base of LEX Africa referrals. The information provided to the management office in terms of this 3.4 will however be limited to the information which may be disclosed to the management office in accordance with any applicable confidentiality, privilege and/or other legal restriction but, at the very least, the management office shall be informed that a LEX Africa referral has been received on a “no names” basis.
3.5 All work done on any LEX Africa referral shall be done in accordance with this code of conduct. Clients referred through a LEX Africa referral shall be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect and in accordance with the highest professional standards. Without derogating from the generality of the aforegoing, client and LEX Africa member telephone calls, emails and other correspondence shall be promptly returned, replied to and dealt with.
3.6 Fee arrangements with clients referred through a LEX Africa referral shall be clear and transparent and agreed with the client.
3.7 Any complaints made by a client referred through a LEX Africa referral shall be promptly reported to the management office and shall be promptly and fairly dealt with by the relevant LEX Africa member.
4 LEX Africa member offices, staff and facilities
Each LEX Africa member shall ensure that –
4.1 its offices are of a high standard in keeping with the good name, reputation and goodwill of LEX Africa;
4.2 its professional and non professional staff are courteous, efficient and properly trained;
4.3 its equipment and facilities (including without limitation its information technology systems, email, telefax and telephones) are up to date and subject to any events beyond the reasonable control of the member in a good and functioning working order and condition.
4.4 its receptionist and telephone switchboard operator are fluent in the English language.
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