Some clients of ours were not happy with their ex-accountant because he had been giving advice to a family member, who was also a client, which was averse to our clients’ interests.
They then refused to pay one of his accounts and the accountant got his solicitor to threaten to sue them.
The conflict of interest should have been declared and he should have stopped working for one, if not both parties, and this potentially cost our client a considerable amount of money.
Our clients are not too interested in getting embroiled in a stressful, expensive and time-consuming court case, so we suggested paying half, which brought the amount owing below the $10,000 threshold for legal fees to be recovered, and offered to waive all their rights against the accountant in return for that being accepted as full and final settlement.
The letter went yesterday, giving the accountant twenty-one days to accept the offer or meet in person with our clients to nut it out, without the lawyers. Having reduced the amount in dispute to less than $10k, it is now not pragmatic to get lawyers involved, so hopefully the offer is accepted, or a compromise is reached without the clients paying any more, or at least not much more.
Any sign of conflict – see Michael Paterson & Associates.