When a person is facing a legal issue, he or she goes to a counselor-at-law. This results in a lawyer-client relationship that should not be based on hierarchy. If in this relationship the practitioner becomes dominant, the seeker would probably become deprived of certain fundamental and legal rights. However, professional lawyers have to follow the best code of conduct in this relationship to serve the clients to the best.
The perspectives of Andrew Boon and Jennifer Levin support the idea of the Modern view. This view illustrates that the clients have to be given the power to make the best suitable decision for them. This is respecting individual rights and encouraging self-determination. The client knows the issue at best and the lawyer should help in showing the right direction. Moreover, the lawyer should make the client knowledgeable of the proper laws dealing with the concerning matter. This will surely make the client empowered legally and make him or her confidence in making decisions.
Then there appears the Modern approach which brings lawyer and client to the same table to deal with the concerning matter. This is a consensus-based approach in which both lawyer and client equally participate to reach a final conclusion. Both of them try and strive to take one another`s point of view in making a particular point in the case. Robert Dinerstein terms this process as a mutual and client-centered relationship.
There is another approach to the association between a lawyer and a client. In this way, the client provides all the materials with all knowledge to the lawyer; specifying each and every detail related to the matter concerned. With all these at disposal, the conveyance goes on deciding how to proceed with the case and how to manage the formalities of the case. This approach is called paternalistic. Hence, the modern view disapproves of this paternalistic method.
It is perceived that a barrister is the agent of the public in a case. The agent is directed and told what to do with particular pieces of information. It is like the customer is giving orders to the agent in finding the best place or hotel to stay. This method only makes the client superior and undermines the position of the lawyer.
The contractual relationship method brings both the lawyer and the client into one particular agreement. They sign it and stick to its terms and conditions. Sometimes, the scope of what has
The fiduciary model form of the association between the lawyer and the client is based on self-interests. Both members of the relationship of this approach look after each other`s advantages. The client relies on the honesty and liability of the lawyer. The skills of the lawyer are appreciated and the well-being of the client is taken good care of with these skills. Lord Walker, in Hilton v Barker Booth and Eastwood relate the fiduciary approach to the contractual model.
However, the fiduciary method faces censure because it is perceived to be paternalistic. According to the opponents, fiduciaries take care of the matters of those who cannot deal with their matters by themselves. Like children need looking after in the same way.
The best way to establish an equal lawyer-client relationship is to follow the code of conduct. For instance, the Bar Code of Conduct 2015 stresses on lawyers serve the client`s all concerns. It suggests that the client`s information related to matters has to be undercover. It tells the client to be paid proper efforts and dealt with well. Moreover, the solicitor's code of conduct 2011 makes lawyers represent the client at best and serve the client with great endeavors.
Even after the client is expired, the lawyer has to safeguard the important details of the client. This is a provision from chapter 4. Privacy can only be breached when it is asked by law or the client himself. Alongside this, a lawyer cannot misuse the relevant particulars of a client against or in favor of another client.
Similarly, the judgment of Lord Millet in the case of Bolkiah v KMPG clearly stresses the value of the client`s personal facts and recommends that the particulars in a case should be in a clandestine manner. Furthermore, the judge rules that the details of a particular client should not come into the hands of an opponent of a client. The legal privilege also provides impunity to the clients in relation to their particulars. Without permission from the client, a lawyer even should not reveal the client`s details in front of a court. However, in case of a breach of information, a client can approach a court against anyone.
Moreover, legal professional privilege is another legitimate impunity that covers lawyer-client discussions and meetings. This privilege empowers the relationship in which a court cannot force the lawyer and the client to share their secret facts for any purpose. Further, legal professional privilege is divided into two kinds: legal advice privilege and litigation privilege. Legal advice privilege keeps all the discussions and meetings between a lawyer and client clandestine. Litigation privilege encloses the communications between a lawyer and anyone participating in the legal proceedings.
The communications between lawyers and third parties are safeguarded by the circumstances stipulated by Lord Carswell in Three Rivers (No.). The communications are preserved only when legal proceedings are in continuation and in the way of construction. Secondly, they are privileged when communications are primarily being used for fundamental elements of litigation. Thirdly, when the litigation is confrontational, the communications will be privileged. Hence, in the above circumstances, the communications between lawyers and third parties are privileged.
Four solid arguments are given in favor of legal professional privilege by Lord Neuberger. It is argued that the client has the right to refuse to share its communications unless when the client admits or refuses its right to the disclosure of communication. The second one is a statute rule that the privilege can be overruled. The third one is, that the document is made ready in relation to a notorious motive. The fourth one deals with exceptions that may apply.
A client can share particulars only if he wants in order to clear his stance. The client has the authority of confidentiality legal privilege and the client can utilize the communications in the legal proceedings. In this case, the matter of legal professional privilege is highlighted well. A client was interrogated about the dissimilarities between his way of describing the events and his lawyer. So, the client indicated that he was misperceived by the lawyer and therefore misconceptions have taken place. This happened in the case of R v Seaton  EWCA Crim 1980. Thus, this case shows the right of privilege very well.
An exception to legal professional privilege is made by Re L, the House of Lords. There was a legal proceeding under Children Act 1989. A mother was summoned on giving drugs to her child. The lawyer of the mother ordered a report from the consultant which certified how the mother used the drugs on the child. When police asked for a copy of the report, the lawyer refused to provide using legal professional privilege. The report was prepared by a third party and privilege cannot be implemented on reports therefore the house lords made an exception.