Ethical Dilema?

T J Registered Posts: 26 ? ? ?
I have 2 clients who used to be in partnership. X bought Y's share and carried on the business. Y signed an agreement saying he would not set up business in the same trade within a 10 mile radius.

Recently Y has done some PAYE work in the same trade and is looking into going into partnership again - with Z, an existing sole trader of the same trade - just 10 miles from X's business.

X and Y both asked me to carry on doing their recpective accounts & tax returns at the time their partnership disolved. X doesn't realise that I am still in contact with Y.

X has recently heard gossip (which is mostly correct) about Y and is asking me for advice. I am trying to be diplomatic and remain professional as I don't want to break any confidences.

Should I tell one that I can't do his accounts any more, or should I advise them to talk to each other to overcome the "gossip" and rivalry? I would be grateful of any ideas.



  • Dean
    Dean Registered Posts: 646
    Hi TJ

    From your last paragraph it indicates you're aware there is a 'conflict of interest' but don't despair.

    I’ll throw some key words at you and I’d recommend you consult the handbook for further information; these words are what you need to be mindful of:

    Objectivity; &

    It boils down to a quite straightforward case really; explain to X that you act in a professional capacity for Y and you do not advise on ‘hear-say’.

    X’s best bet is to approach Y, informally or formally (through his solicitor), and ‘have it out’ so to speak.

    You are not professional obliged to cease to act for either X or Y.

    Hope this helps.


  • T J
    T J Registered Posts: 26 ? ? ?

    Many thanks

    T J
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