Lawyers Must Keep Client Identity Confidential

April 26, 2018

Confidentiality, Law

A lawyer cannot be forced to disclose any information about her/his client, even their identity. This means complete confidentiality. Solicitor-client privilege (a.k.a. lawyer-client privilege) dictates that it is a lawyer’s duty to not disclose communications and information about her/his client without the client’s consent. This Law Society of Ontario article states very well the importance of this privilege [my emphasis]:

[Solicitor-client privilege] is for everyone to feel safe knowing that their discussions with their lawyer are private and cannot be disclosed to anyone without their express permission.

This is the law — and it is one of your constitutional rights and protections.

Solicitor-client privileged communications are out of reach of third parties. No third party, including the police, can make your lawyer disclose these privileged communications to them.

The Supreme Court of Canada stated that solicitor-client privilege is a principal of fundamental justice and recently held that even the Canada Revenue Agency cannot force a lawyer to disclose the identity of her/his clients. That’s correct: a lawyer must guard your identity as a client under solicitor-client privilege from forced disclosure, even from law enforcement and the government. The Law Society of Alberta has taken a strong stance in its guidance to lawyers regarding third party demands for disclosure of a client’s confidential and privileged information:

Privilege belongs to the client, not to the lawyer, and exists whether or not the client asserts a claim of privilege. The decision to claim privilege must be that of the client, not of the lawyer, regardless of the lawyer’s view about the validity of the potential claim.

Solicitor-client privilege is, thus, a lawyer’s professional duty to protect a client’s confidential information and the law in Canada that is zealously guarded by the Courts and the law societies for the client’s benefit.

Author: Gregory Pang

Gregory is a lawyer practising with RedFrame Law (In Association with Nicholl & Akers) and owner of Jackpot Lawyer.


2 comments on “Lawyers Must Keep Client Identity Confidential


  1. Michael de Villiers says:

    Winner must participate in the publicity campaign in order to claim the prize. There are no ways in Canada to keep your identity anonymous. Picture + name + town + province MUST BE recorded and shown publicly. The only thing a winner can avoid is the OPTIONAL big picture taken showing the amount of jackpot win written. Your legal firm advice is bordering on being a SCAM. Your fees, for really nothing, will be a “supposedly small percentage” which will be no less than 10% for non-existent ANONYMOUS services. Like I said, you are basically a Scam Artist.

    1. Gregory Pang says:

      Hi Michael. Thank you for your comment. You are correct in part and we take any allegations of being a scam very seriously. Yes, those are the rules set out by the different lottery corporations across Canada for claiming large lottery wins. Our proposal to keep the “real” winners anonymous involves establishing a trust instrument where a trustee individual would become the claimant. That claimant, being a real person in legitimate possession of the winning ticket holding it in trust for that “real” winner, would claim the prize as the formal winner. Her or his name, photo, town and province would then be published as the claimant winner. This, of course, as the term would imply involves a lot of trust to accomplish and the formal winner would then have to turn over the winning funds to the “real” winner being the beneficiary (or beneficiaries). As you can see, we are not scamming or circumventing the lottery corporations’ rules around anonymity but rather substituting the real winner for an individual (not some trust corp or entity) who would become the formal winner. How to establish that trust instrument and why would anyone want to become the formal claimant in place of the real winner is our secret sauce so to speak. By the way, you are incorrect to allege that we would take “no less than 10%” for our services. That is simply false.

      Once again, we take any allegations of being a scam very seriously and I encourage you to reach out to me if you have further questions.

Join the Discussion