7 Jan 2011

Client Confidentiality and Lawyer-Client Privilege

In what turns out to be quiet a comparative survey of the Indian, US and UK law on the subject of Client Confidentiality and Lawyer-Client Privilege Karandeep Makkar of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur has written an interesting paper titled "Client Confidentiality and Lawyer-Client Privilege: A Study of Indian, American and English Law".The Paper examines the recent developments under Indian laws (especially in the context of the decision of the Central Information Commission in terms of the Right to Information Act) and goes to compare the position with that under the laws of the United States and the United Kingdom.

The paper examines the Rules formulated by the Bar Council of India on the issue and the legal position in terms of Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 - which makes the communication between advocate and client as privileged - in the wake of applicable decisions. The paper also specifically examined, though in a brief discussion, the position of in-house legal counsels and the applicability of the confidentiality doctrine in their regard.

The abstract of the paper reads as under;
With the increase in the number of foreign companies setting up businesses in India, the law on the issue of lawyer-client confidentiality needs to be understood so as to ensure that multinational businesses can share their concerns with the lawyers without the risk of corporate communications being misused against them. 
The paper studies the law prevailing in India relating to the duty imposed on lawyers towards their clients and the privilege provided to communication between lawyers and clients and compares it to the law in U.S.A and the U.K.
An appraisal of Indian laws shows that the need for confidentiality of information shared between lawyers and their clients has been recognized and the communication between lawyers and clients has been privileged. The Bar Council rules provide for high standards of professional ethics for Indian lawyers, comparable to those in other jurisdictions. Also, with the growth of Legal Process Outsourcing in India, the concerns by clients towards data security have been raised. Lawyers in India have a duty imposed upon them under law to maintain confidentiality of their client’s information.
Before starting business in a particular jurisdiction, a multinational company must clearly ascertain the scope of laws relating to attorney-client privilege, as this can ensure that the corporate communications are well protected and can facilitate business avoiding undesirable litigation.

1 comment:

Kislay Pandey said...

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