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Is it legal to comply with the request or must it always be refused outright?
Alternatively, is there a way of legally trying to achieve the required objective?
He also has no way of knowing whether the backdating will be scrutinized by a regulatory authority or even a Court.Does he need to check to see whether that was actually the case or can he take an ostrich-like position and put his head in the sand and not ask any questions?Is there an obligation on the lawyer to make at least reasonable endeavour’s to confirm that he is being told the truth?For example, will the document be provided in support of the party’s tax position giving the impression that a signed legal contact was in place before it was?
The difficult question for a lawyer to answer is to what extent does he have to enquire into the veracity of his client’s statement that the document “is just recording an earlier agreement”?
It is not straight forward and can give problems to any lawyer that agrees to backdate a document, even if he makes it clear on the document that it is backdated, as he must be careful to make sure that he knows why the document is being backdated and that it is being done for a legitimate reason.