SRA, 'Ethics guidance: Disclosure of client's confidential information' (5/2/16)
This guidance deals with Outcome 4.1 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, which is that "you keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents", to which there are no exceptions (in contrast with the previous SRA Code). The status of this guidance is described as follows: "This advice does not form part of the SRA Handbook and is not mandatory, but the SRA may have regard to it when exercising its regulatory functions. This guidance is intended to highlight that where you disclose client information, your justification for doing so will be taken into consideration for conduct purposes. In some limited circumstances, the justification is likely to result in us deciding to take no regulatory action as a result." Circumstances in which disclosure may be justified for conduct purposes are described under the following headings: (1) Where a client has indicated their intention to commit suicide or serious self harm; (2) Preventing harm to children or vulnerable adults; (3) Preventing the commission of a criminal offence.