SRA, 'Guidance: Confidentiality of client information' (25/11/19)

Solicitors' ethics guidance Paragraph 6.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct states: "You keep the affairs of current and former clients confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents." There are no exceptions. Instead of rectifying this deficiency in the rules, the SRA published this guidance (on 5/2/16, updated 25/11/19). Before setting out some scenarios, it states: “[I]n the situations described although there will be a breach of your duty, from a disciplinary point of view, the justification will be taken into account and is likely to mitigate against regulatory action by the SRA.” The scenarios are set out under the headings following headings: (a) Where a client has indicated their intention to commit suicide or serious self harm; (b) Preventing harm to children or vulnerable adults; (c) Preventing the commission of a criminal offence.