Duties of confidentiality and disclosure 2019

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Duties of confidentiality and disclosure 2019
  • The SRA Standards and Regulations 2019
  • Where to find the requirements on confidentiality and disclosure
  • Who the confidentiality and disclosure requirements apply to
  • Supporting guidance
  • Comparison with the 2011 regime
  • The duty of confidentiality
  • Exceptions to the duty of confidentiality
  • Disclosure required or permitted by law
  • Consent
  • More...

Duties of confidentiality and disclosure 2019

The protection of confidential information is a fundamental feature of the solicitor-client relationship and a core professional principle. Solicitors also have a duty to disclose to their clients information of which they are aware and which is material to their client’s matter, unless specified exceptions apply.

If you are proposing to act for a client in a matter where that client has an interest adverse to the interests of another client for whom you hold confidential information that is material to the matter, your duties of confidentiality and disclosure can come into conflict. In order to act, you will either need:

  1. informed client consent, or

  2. to take effective measures to protect the confidential information

If a confidentiality or disclosure issue arises, or there is a risk of one arising in the course of your work, you will need to:

  1. have systems and controls in place to identify and mitigate risks to client confidential information

  2. determine whether you can act or continue to act for the client(s) involved

  3. understand the safeguards that may be needed in order to protect confidential information

This Practice Note sets out the regulatory requirements and some of the practical issues relating to the duties of confidentiality and disclosure together with guidance on how to manage them. It reflects the requirements in the SRA Codes of Conduct 2019 (2019

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