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2.4.2 Procedure where represented client initiates contact with RCG
In those cases where it is the client who initiates the contact, you should NOT refuse to give the client direct service, i.e. on the spurious grounds that they are represented and you are therefore prohibited from talking to him/her, in fact you are not. Note that it is the client who retains (employs) the lawyer or engages the ESO representative not the other way around. If the client chooses not to use his/her representative on that occasion, he/she is perfectly at liberty to do so, and you have a responsibility as a Delegate to deal with that person. The decision to deal with you personally or through a representative on any occasion is the client's alone.
On receipt of such a phone call, you should therefore:
- remind the client that you are aware that he/she is represented, and confirm this continues to be so
- deal with the substance of the call, regardless of representation
- with respect to any outstanding issues or matters arising from the call, remind the client that your subsequent correspondence will be sent via the representative
- take a complete 'note of conversation'. Note: Record on Defcare and print to file.
However, on receipt of a letter directly from the client, you should not initiate any phone call or correspondence directly back to the client, but direct your reply, together with a copy of the client's correspondence, to the representative.
On occasion, clients with more than one claim may instruct a lawyer in one of those cases but continue to deal directly with RCG in respect to the others. In those cases, you should request that the client writes to you clarifying exactly which matters are in the hands of the representative. Following that advice, you should keep the various matters as separate as possible and apply the 'exclusive contact' rules only in respect of cases in which the client has instructed his/her lawyer.