I recently had a conversation with a lead that could give me the opportunity to do some responsive web work to an already designed site. My question is what is the best way to approach gaining access to the site? I know the client would grant me access, but I am talking about obtaining access from the old designer of the site. Are there any things I need to look out for?
First, it would really depend on the agreement between your client and the old designer.
so you really have to talk to the client first and ask about their agreements and if he can contact the old designer to give you an access. You know it's really a sad thing when your client would look for another developers and would like to revision your work. So, it's better if your client is the one who would request it :D
Absolutely not. Unless the client has a retainer agreement with the previous web developer, there's no reason why the client can't give you the access details to the website him/herself.
Also, think about it from this point of view, there's a reason why you are talking to this client, because the previous developer could not (or would not) do further work for them and this give you the right to request access to the right to do your job.