Conflicts of interest are a bad thing for corporations. Or are they? Perhaps not always according to Richard L. Cassin, editor at large of the FCPA Blog. Cassin argues via a new blog that in certain circumstances, what the Western world views as a conflict of interest may not be in other cultures.
He uses an example of practicing law in Asia, where its common place for two parties forming joint ventures to use one English-speaking lawyer to draft the documents. While only one party pays the legal fees, both parties understood the lawyer provides joint representation. The one-lawyer approach eliminates language barriers and provides a common tongue for legalese in documentation.
Cassin says he doesn’t believe the approach put him in actual violation of ABA rules about conflict of interest when he practiced law in Asia. He at first felt uncomfortable as the sole lawyer at the table but eventually settled into the role and felt good about the level of trust both parties placed in him.