Does the need of timely notice apply to lateral transfers between opposing law firms?

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

The following excerpt is from Rich v. The Queen, 2001 NLCA 39 (CanLII):

It is true, as opposing counsel points out, that the appealed decision was correct in observing that Martin v. Gray did not explicitly address the need of timely notice. However, that authority did not purport to catalogue every factor which might bear upon removal of counsel of record consequential to lateral transfers between opposing law firms involved on opposite sides in ongoing matters. Circumstances which might bear relevance in such situations are so diverse that it is neither possible, nor desirable, to attempt to exhaustively categorize them. Besides, the weight ascribable to a particular factor will frequently be determined by the factual matrix in which it lies and with which it interacts. Thus, a circumstance which might otherwise appear relatively innocuous in one factual setting, may be telling in another. Beyond reasonable measures effectively screening confidential information from members of the transferee’s new firm, the majority in Martin v. Gray set no absolute conditions on rebuttal of disqualifying conflicts on lateral transfers. As already noted, it did not discount the relevance of other factors to such rebuttals; but, rather than speaking in absolutes regarding them, left their significance to be rationalized on the values which the majority laid down for resolving when lateral transfers would disqualify a firm from continuing to act in ongoing litigation by reason of conflict of interest.

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