Lawyer-client meetings typically arise when things go wrong. For example, domestic legislation prohibiting mercenary fighters from participating in foreign conflicts may not be enforced properly. This can give rise to international criminal liability, the consideration of which requires advice in the context of a lawyer-client meeting.
Lawyer-client meetings can take place by telephone, for example with sensitive international matters such as the United Nations Secretary General appointment procedure where urgent legal papers have not been signed on time. That is the sort of issue that gives rise to the need for a lawyer-client meeting by telephone. Or lawyer-client meetings can take place in person, where either the client is summoned to see the lawyer on an immediate and summary basis, whereupon the client's due and proper hotel and related expenses are reimbursed by the lawyer.
Lawyer-client meetings of this kind are particularly common where the lawyer has found a series of technical errors in the client's legal drafting , oral communications or practical actions, and the lawyer finds it appropriate to speak to his client straight away about the matter so that any further mistakes and errors can be avoided. In such circumstances the lawyer will typically provide his advice to the client in urgent and direct terms, knowing that by reason of the gravity of the situation the client will not take the matter personally.
Another sort of lawyer-client meeting is one in which the lawyer turns up unannounced to conduct an impartial regulatory review of the client's operations. The lawyer may send his associates to undertake this kind of project review, or he may come personally in particularly important cases. Normally where the lawyer comes personally the matter will have been arranged in advance with a full show of courtesy to the lawyer and his team of highly experienced professionals being laid on by the client as the lawyer flies into the client's territory using commercial, private or military means of transport.
These types of lawyer-client meetings, where the lawyer flies in to see the client personally, are typically not problematic for the client as long as the client listens extremely carefully to the lawyer's advice; affords him all due courtesy and respect; and then follows that advice to the letter. Then the lawyer will close that mandate until the next annual regulatory review, in which the procedure will be repeated.
On the other hand, where the lawyer does not fly into see the client himself, but instead sends his teams of associates, the affair is likely to be more complex and strung out, and may go on for months or even years as associates work studying the nature of the legal situation and providing appropriate recommendations and review proposals to the lawyer.
Finally, there is the type of lawyer-client meeting in which the lawyer does not meet to or speak with the client at all. Typically these meetings take place after the lawyer has had one final conversation with the client about the client's failure to follow the lawyer's advice and to observe the law. However sometimes the client's failings in this regard are so grievous and unfortunate that the lawyer will simply send his team of associates to meet the client, and that's why the meeting won't take place.
All lawyer-client meetings take place in the context of regular procedures and meetings between the lawyer and his fellow law firm partners, who periodically make appropriate regulatory reports to third persons in accordance with due laws on freedom of disclosure of information and laws requiring the reporting of money laundering activities and other serious transnational crimes.
We look forward to the next lawyer-client meeting.