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The regulation of private investigators should raise industry standards, says Bryan Shacklady, but solicitors must remain vigilant

23 August 2013

Solicitors often need access to information that they cannot obtain themselves. A solicitor in this position will often turn to a private investigator. However, recent news reports highlight both the risks that already exist in the industry and the challenges that will accompany forthcoming regulation.

The Home Affairs Select Committee has disclosed that law firms featured among the clients of four private investigators jailed for illegally obtaining private information. Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has made it clear that he wishes to name the law firms who instructed the rogue investigators when the committee publishes its report. The reputational consequences for the firms concerned may be significant.

Solicitors can seek to protect themselves and their firms by taking simple steps.

- Solicitors should ask how information will be obtained and ensure they are satisfied with the answers.

- It should be ...

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