QBE-LawyerGuard – Tip of the Month – Conflicts of Interest When Representing Bidders and Potential Buyers

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by the editorial staff:



Legal malpractice claims, particularly in the realm of business transactions, are on the rise, creating challenges for transactional lawyers. Recognizing and resolving conflicts of interest in this context is crucial, and a recent development sheds light on the matter.

On January 3, 2024, the New York City Bar Association issued Formal Opinion 2024-1, titled “Ethical Issues Arising from the Representation of Two or More Bidders Competing for the Same Asset.” This opinion explores conflicts of interest when representing multiple bidders vying for the same asset.

The opinion acknowledges that conflicts are likely to arise in such scenarios but emphasizes that they are often waivable. It delves into the intricacies of multi-bidder situations, offering insights and suggesting protective measures for law firms.

Key takeaways include the recognition that conflicts might be avoidable when representing only one client bidding on an asset, even if another firm client is also bidding independently. The distinction lies in the absence of representation in the latter case, making it a commercial or economic adversity rather than a conflicting interest.

While the opinion provides valuable guidance, it is essential to cross-reference it with the rules and authorities of your jurisdiction. This download is a must-read for those representing bidders or purchasers, offering instructive analyses applicable beyond New York.

For further inquiries on this or any other ethics or risk management topic, reach out to us or Attorneys Risk Management. Arm yourself with the knowledge to navigate the evolving landscape of legal malpractice.

Click to download QBE-LawyerGuard – January Tip of the Month:


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