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Wildcard regulators

The SRA should use its powers sparingly and treat client confidential information with the same respect that solicitors must employ, says Susanna Heley

27 June 2017

Protection of confidentiality and privilege is a principal tenet of legal practice. In an era of cloud computing, ransomware attacks, and perpetual concern about cybersecurity, ensuring that information given to and held by solicitors is secure is of paramount importance.

The pace of technological change means that solicitors need to admit more people into the ‘circle of confidence’ surrounding the data they store. It has never been the case that information is given to a single solicitor and no-one else ever has access to that information. Even before computers, clerks and others were drafted in to support solicitors.

Outsourcing client work necessarily involves giving third parties access to some confidential and privileged information. While it may not be necessary for IT support to trawl through the minutiae of client information – indeed, who would hav...

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