What are the two theories on the disqualification of former government lawyers in representing a client on a matter in which they intervened when they were in office?
They are the adverse-interest conflict and the congruent-interest representation conflict.
In the “adverse-interest conflict” a former government lawyer is enjoined from representing a client in private practice is the matter is substantially related to a matter that the lawyer dealt with while employed by the government and if the interests of the current and former clients are adverse. It must be observed that the “adverse-interest conflict” applies to all lawyers in that they are generally disqualified from accepting employment in a subsequent representation if the interests of the former client and the present client are adverse and the matters involved are the same or substantially related. On the other hand, in “congruent-interest conflict”, the disqualification does not really involve a conflict at all, because it prohibits the lawyer from representing a private practice client even if the interests of the former government client and the new client are entirely parallel. The “congruent-interest representation conflict”, unlike the “adverse-interest conflict”, is unique to former government lawyers. (PCGG vs. SB, et al.)