When you speak with a lawyer, you have the right to confidentiality. This includes your personal information, the legal advice given to you by the lawyer and the instructions you provide.
You can provide permission to your lawyer to discuss your confidential information with external service providers, for example with a treating medical practitioner to provide specific advice to assist your matter.
You can waive your rights to confidentiality by your conduct. For example, in a family law matter, if you receive a letter of advice from your lawyer and then show that to your spouse or ex-partner, then he or she could argue that you have waived your right to confidentiality ordinarily attaching to the instructions you have provided and the advices you received. This could be disastrous for your matter, and result in your entire file being available to your spouse or ex-partner’s solicitor to read.
In a criminal matter, your confidential instructions provided to your lawyer as to your involvement in a crime or your whereabouts if “you are on the run” can only be disclosed to the Police if you authorise your lawyer do so. In some limited cases a lawyer may be obliged by a Court Order to disclose information or documents sought by a warrant issued by the Police.
A lawyer’s duty to protect a client’s confidential information extends well beyond a client ceasing to be represented by the lawyer.
Rest assured that at Kennedy Spanner Lawyers, your confidential information will remain confidential.