How we handle your confidential information
You can rest assured that Executive Rights Employment Lawyers take your privacy and the protection of your confidential data seriously.
You are able to make full and frank disclosure to us knowing that we will make every effort to ensure your confidential information will not be passed on.
We recognise how sensitive your confidential information is
In order to properly advise our clients, it is often necessary for us to request sensitive and confidential documents/information. This may include contact details, career résumés, remuneration packages, contracts of employment, correspondence and dealings with either current or past employers etc.
The process of collecting and analysing personal and confidential information is clearly necessary to enable us to open a file and provide legal services to our clients.
What is the legal basis for the protection of your information?
Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules
The Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules (“the Rules”) were jointly developed by various State and Territory Law Societies and the Law Council of Australia. The objective of the Rules was to provide an agreed common standard of professional conduct for all solicitors in Australia. Only the Northern Territory maintains its own professional conduct rules.
These Rules commenced in Victoria and New South Wales on 1 July 2015.
The key section of the Rules which sets out the core obligation of the solicitor with respect to client information is section 9. It specifically prohibits a solicitor disclosing client information without authorisation and to anybody outside the law firm, except for the purpose of delivering the legal services.
The section states:
9.1 A solicitor must not disclose any information which is confidential to a client and
acquired by the solicitor during the client’s engagement to any person who is not:
9.1.1 a solicitor who is a partner, principal, director, or employee of the
solicitor’s law practice; or
9.1.2 a barrister or an employee of, or person otherwise engaged by, the solicitor’s law practice or by an associated entity for the purposes of delivering or administering legal services in relation to the client, EXCEPT as permitted in Rule 9.2.
9.2 A solicitor may disclose information which is confidential to a client if:
9.2.1 the client expressly or impliedly authorises disclosure;
9.2.2 the solicitor is permitted or is compelled by law to disclose;
9.2.3 the solicitor discloses the information in a confidential setting, for the sole purpose of obtaining advice in connection with the solicitor’s legal or ethical obligations;
9.2.4 the solicitor discloses the information for the sole purpose of avoiding the
probable commission of a serious criminal offence;
9.2.5 the solicitor discloses the information for the purpose of preventing imminent serious physical harm to the client or to another person; or
9.2.6 the information is disclosed to the insurer of the solicitor, law practice or
This obligation is ongoing and applies even after the matter is completed and survives even your death. If that occurs, then the obligation is owed to your executor.
A solicitor who is in breach of these Rules risks prosecution and the loss of the practising certificate under which they operate. Traditionally, the reason why the standard is set so high is because, in a solicitor-client relationship, the solicitor is regarded as a “fiduciary”. A person performing such a role holds a position of trust for another and is required to perform the role for the benefit for whom they act.
In managing any matter on behalf of our clients, these obligations form the cornerstone upon which we gather, retain and use our clients’ information.
The fact is that the obligation of confidentiality under the Rules is of utmost importance to the solicitor-client relationship. Any law practice which chooses to ignore these obligations would suffer dire consequences.
What you can do to assist us in safeguarding your privacy and confidential information
Under no circumstances will any information concerning you or your matter be provided by this legal practice to third parties or in any way divulged to any person outside our office without your express consent.
Having said all of this, there are also some simple precautions that you can take to ensure that your privacy is maintained in your dealings with us viz:
1. You should ensure that any communication with us via email is via a private email address. It certainly should not be a work-related email or an email address that can be read by a third party. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised at how many employees are careless in this regard.
2. From the point of view of document security, it is also important not to provide original documents. Any documents sent to us by courier or post should only be photocopies of the original documents, which you should retain for your own records.
3. Finally, if you do not want family members to know you have instructed solicitors regarding your matter, you need to be very clear in your initial instructions regarding contact phone numbers and email addresses.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice regarding your own situation.