Duty of confidentiality

What is my duty in relation to confidentiality?

You are required under Principle 5 of the CILEx code of conduct to act competently in the best interests of your client and respect client confidentiality.

Outcome 5.12 of the CILEx code of conduct states that you must maintain confidentiality in respect of your client’s affairs except where to do so would conflict with the law or the code or where your client explicitly authorises you to disclose confidential information.

If you work in a solicitors firm you should also observe the solicitors’ code of conduct. The solicitors’ code of conduct shows that the duty of confidentiality continues, despite the end of the retainer or even the death of your client. Therefore you are required to keep the affairs of former clients confidential. (See Chapter 4 of the solicitors’ code of conduct). Outcome 4.1 provides that you should “…keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is permitted by law…” Indicative Behaviour 4.4 suggests you will meet the outcomes if “…you disclose to the client all information material to the clients matter of which you are personally aware except when:…(c) legal restrictions effectively prohibit you from passing the information to the client such as the provisions in the money-laundering and anti-terrorism legislation.”

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