Can I take data of clients with me when I change firm?
When you change firms you cannot take client information/data
with you. A client’s contract is with the firm, not with the person
handling their matter. The client's data (for example, contact
details and information about their affairs) belongs to the firm
and not to you. If you remove the data from the firm you are
breaching the client’s confidentiality. This also includes data
belonging to former clients of the firm.
You should not approach clients asking them to leave your
current firm and take instructions to your new firm. It is
acceptable to contact clients before you leave a firm providing
them with the details of the person who will be dealing with their
matter, though it is likely that individual firms will have
procedures in place for this situation. In such circumstances, you
should have regard to the guidance to principle 2 of the code of
conduct, and particularly outcome 2.2 which states that you ‘…must
not engage in any conduct that could undermine or affect adversely
the confidence and trust placed in you…by your…employer...’
Of course, clients are free to instruct whoever they choose to
carry out their legal affairs. Clients may decide to change firms
if you do move to another firm but you must not make any approach
to encourage them to do so.
If your question is not answered, contact us via our dedicated customer service enquiry form.