“legally privileged material is intercepted on a routine basis”
Client privilege is the most sacred and precious of rights, which protects the confidence and sanctity of the classified communications between client and lawyer. It is a human right laid down by the Magna Carta in the 13th century, but is as relevant and precious today as ever. If not more so.
Are you confident that your confidential legal communications are safe? In today’s information sharing world, the need for secure communications is greater than ever.
A Modern-Day Magna Carta Issue
Colin Passmore, head of international law firm Simmons and Simmons, declared last week that the interception of communications between lawyers and clients has become ‘routine’, calling into question the security of all legally privileged material.
Speaking at the Global Law Summit in London last week, Passmore argued that the protection of personal liberties and client privilege was at stake, and the interception of client-lawyer communications was against the spirit of the Magna Carta, whose 800th birthday was commemorated at the summit.
‘This has become a modern-day Magna Carta issue’
In a panel discussion on privacy, Passmore said that the papers released in an ongoing tribunal and revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden have shown that no electronically-transmitted legal communiqué is safe.
While parliament and the courts have long recognised the unique position of legal professional privileges, loopholes threaten the sanctity of client privilege. Section 27 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 which, according to Passmore ‘legitimises the interception of all communication as long as it is “properly authorised,”’ is the main exception, putting client-lawyer communications at risk of legitimate interception.
Keep Your Legal Communications and Classified Information Safe
Do you agree with Colin Passmore? Are you concerned for the safety of your client-lawyer communications?
Taking positive and proactive steps towards improving your chambers’ IT security is vital in today’s world. But it is equally important that members of the legal profession take responsibility for changing government legislation. At the Global Law Summit, Colin Passmore urged everyone working in the legal profession to ‘work together to ensure that parliament debates after the election whether this is acceptable; if not we will sleepwalk into new abuses which will undermine these most cherished of rights.’
Do you need help to protect your classified information in your chambers? If you feel like your chambers IT security systems aren’t robust enough to protect client privilege, why not let specialist IT experts do it for you? Get in touch to discuss how we can help protect that most sacred of human rights – privacy.