Q&As

What is the position where a former client (who is now a defendant in proceedings brought by their former solicitors firm) makes a request under the Data Protection Act 1998 for a copy of any or all documents in the solicitors' file pertaining to him while he had instructed the firm?

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Produced in partnership with Ashley Roughton of Ipchambers.eu
Published on LexisPSL on 04/05/2016

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with Ashley Roughton of Ipchambers.eu provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the position where a former client (who is now a defendant in proceedings brought by their former solicitors firm) makes a request under the Data Protection Act 1998 for a copy of any or all documents in the solicitors' file pertaining to him while he had instructed the firm?

In strict legal terms a former client is entitled to have his former solicitor’s papers delivered to him provided that the solicitor has no lien over them due to the non-payment of fees. If fees have not been paid then the solicitor is entitled not to deliver up the papers unless the papers are needed to conduct litigation. In those cases the court will order delivery up of the papers but usually upon the provision by the client of security for the fees.

In any case the solicitor is entitled to take and keep copies of those documents.

If the documents are part of a well organised paper filing system organised in such a way that personal information relating to the client is 'readily' (f

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