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Confidentiality of Lawyer/Client Relationship Prevails

Members of the public can rest assured that what they say to their lawyers will remain confidential after the High Court rejected a company’s bid to discover the identity of a blogger who revealed corporate secrets on the Internet.

The company suspected that the blogger was one of its former employees and had launched proceedings against him as a ‘person unknown’. It asked the Court to order the blogger’s solicitors to name him in order to take enforcement action against him and to protect its own confidential information and that of its clients.

However, in refusing the application, the Court noted that the blogger had instructed the solicitors specifically on the basis that strict confidentiality would be maintained. The communications between law firm and client were covered by legal professional privilege and that extended to the name of the blogger. That privilege was absolute and the law firm could thus not be compelled to identify its client.