Can I take data of clients?
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.