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.