Confidentiality is an important issue in our type of work. Every day, in the course of our work, clients need to disclose a great deal of information that is confidential. So what is our responsibility with regard to that information?
Spanish lawyers cannot disclose information nor documents given to them by a client. Or course nor paperwork or correspondence with the client. This is the principle of confidentiality, or also professional secrecy, as an obligation of our our work.
We also cannot disclose correspondence or paperwork received from someone else’s lawyers unless that lawyer has allowed this.
All over the world people understand the principle of attorney and client privilege.
Confidentiality in Spain is covered in article 24 of the Constitution. Also article 542 of the Organic Law of the Judiciary. Of course, data protection law is now a very big issue in companies, with regulation becoming stricter and stricter.
There are also very strong obligations imposed by the local Colleges of Barristers.
Confidentiality for the Client
Thus clients should realise that they can feel safe with a company that they cannot pass on confidential information to anyone. This involves anything that the lawyer finds out during the course of their professional relationship. Everything is covered and a lawyer is responsible for an agents he has hired or
instructed. It is permitted for communications to be shared amongst employees.
Terroism and money laundering requirements are the exceptions to the protections for confidentiality of lawyer and client communication.
What happens if breach of confidentiality occurs?
This is controlled by the local college of barristers and there are strong regulations. If a breach is thought to have occurred, a client would complain to them and it would be investigated.
Can I sue a lawyer?
There are unfortunately cases whereby a client might need to sue another lawyer, accountant or other professional for professional negligence. Not for a breach of confidentiality, but there are cases where loss has occurred as a result of negligence. We can study these cases and sometimes assist to seek redress.
Please contact us if you have a case involving professional negligence.