Legal privilege and professional secrecy—Brazil—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Legal privilege and professional secrecy—Brazil—Q&A guide
  • 1. Identify and describe your jurisdiction’s laws, regulations, professional rules and doctrines that protect communications between an attorney and a client from disclosure.
  • 2. Describe any relevant differences in your jurisdiction between the status of private practitioners and in-house counsel, in terms of protections for attorney-client communications.
  • 3. Identify and describe your jurisdiction’s laws, regulations, professional rules and doctrines that provide protection from disclosure of tangible material created in anticipation of litigation.
  • 4. Identify and summarise recent landmark decisions involving attorney-client communications and work-product.
  • 5. Describe the elements necessary to confer protection over attorney-client communications.
  • 6. Describe any settings in which the protections for attorney-client communications are not recognised.
  • 7. In your jurisdiction, do the protections for attorney-client communications belong to the client, or is secrecy a duty incumbent on the attorney?
  • 8. To what extent are the facts communicated between an attorney and a client protected, as opposed to the attorney-client communication itself?
  • 9. In what circumstances do communications with agents of the attorney or agents of the client fall within the scope of the protections for attorney-client communications?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to legal privilege and professional secrecy in Brazil published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: November 2020).

Authors: Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados—Luis Alberto Salton Peretti; Ricardo Quass Duarte

1. Identify and describe your jurisdiction’s laws, regulations, professional rules and doctrines that protect communications between an attorney and a client from disclosure.

The Brazilian Constitution, several statutes and rules protect attorney-client communications from disclosure, such as:

  1. the Code of Civil Procedure;

  2. the Code of Criminal Procedure;

  3. the Criminal Code;

  4. Law No. 8,906/94 (the statute that regulates the Brazilian legal profession); and

  5. the Code of Ethics issued by the Brazilian Bar Association and revamped in October 2015.

Article 133 of the Brazilian Constitution recognises that: ‘the lawyer is indispensable to the administration of justice and is inviolable for his or her acts or manifestations in the exercise of his profession’. This rule, combined with the fundamental rights to privacy, secrecy of correspondence and the right to a comprehensive defence warranted to all litigants, results in a broad concept of protection, which includes:

  1. the confidentiality of correspondence prepared in the practice of law;

  2. attorney-client privilege; and

  3. the inviolability of lawyers’ working instruments, including the office and workplace, facilities, documents and data.

Besides constitutional protection, communications between a client and

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