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11 December 2014

UK lawyers demand confidentiality after state admits spying

Bodies representing lawyers in the UK have grouped together to call on the government to protect client-lawyer confidentiality after it emerged that state organisations had routinely been listening in to confidential telephone calls.

British intelligence agencies have been spying on law firms Carlos Amarillo

In a hearing in November, it emerged that MI5, MI6 and GCHQ (Government Communications HQ) have been eaves-dropping on client-lawyer conversations. Leigh Day was one firm that was being intercepted without its lawyers being aware that their conversations were being overheard. In an unusual joint approach, the Law Societies of England and Wales and of Scotland have linked up with the Faculty of Advocates and the Bar Association to make the call. 

Core value

James Wolffe QC, dean of the Faculty, said: 'Lawyer-client confidentiality matters to anyone who needs or might need legal representation. It is a core value of the legal profession across Europe. This unprecedented joint declaration by the bars and law societies of the United Kingdom reflects our common commitment to fundamental professional values.' Source: The Scotsman

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